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Your Life Is Tkeir 



MERCHANTS IN MEDICINE 

SECOND EDITION 


By 

EMANUEL M. JOSEPHSON, MJD. 

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; 
Pan American Ophthalmological Society; XVth International 
Congress of Ophthalmology; Acoustical Society 
of America, etc. 


AUTHOR OF 

Near-Sightedness Is Preventable 
Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cor tin 
The Strange Death of F. D. R . 

A History of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty — America's Royal Family 

APPENDIX 

THE LEMFERT “FENESTRATION” OPERATION FOR DEAFNESS— 
MAYHEM AND HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION 


CHEDNEY PRESS 


127 EAST 69th STREET 


NEW YORK, N. Y, 



Copyright, 1941 & 1948 
by 

Emanuel M. Josetjhson, M.D, 



"The bane of modern medicine is a merciless 
commercialism. , . 

Dean Lewis, Johns Hopkins 
Hospital , October 1937 


"At the present time the electorate of the Amer- 
ican Medical Association is apathetic and 
inarticulate. ... It is allowing the medical poli- 
ticians to run things about as they please, 
and official spokesmen . . . hurl their thunder- 
bolts of wrath at all who differ with orthodox 
doctrine," 

Dr. James H. Means, President of the 
American College of Physicians, 
April 6, 1938 


“Apathetic and Inarticulate l ' ‘Muzzled’ would 
have been a truer word” heatedly editorialized 
the New York Times, April 8, 1938. 



CONTENTS 

OKAPI ER 

Foreword 

I Merchants in Medicine . 

Origins of the American Medical Association 

II The Medical Serf and Organized Medicine 

III The Medical Publicity Racket 

IV New Styles in Quackery . 

Fishbein’s “Modern Home Medical Adviser” 

V Censorship of the Press ...... 

VI Testimonials for a Price . 

The A. M. A. “Acceptance” of Foods and Drugs 

VII Medical Education — A Racket . 

VIII Medical Research and the Medical Rackets . 

IX Hospital and Clinic Rackets . 

X American College of Surgeons and the Hospital 
Rackets ......... 

The Surgical Chamber of Commerce 

XI The Public vs. the “Closed Hospital” 

XII The Open Hospital — a Remedy . 

XIII The Specialization Rackets 

XIV The New York Academy of Medicine 
Merger of Organized Medicine and Social Service 

XV What Price Life? 

Public vs. The Rackets 

XVI. Sample of State Medicine & Social Security — The 
Workmen's Compensation Racket . 

XVII. State Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance 

XVIII. The Solution of the Problem of Medical Care 

Appendix 

The Lempert Fenestration Operation for Deafness 
Mayhem and Experimentation 


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FOREWORD 


urinc the past century there has been a great improvement in the art of 
medicine. Some of this improvement does not represent a real advance in 
medical science, but constitutes the process of retracing ground that was lost 
when young medical science arrogantly threw aside the age-old tradition of 
medicine that accumulated and was handed down since the origin of man. 
But real advance has been made. If this aspect of the subject is slighted* it 
is not because of failure of appreciation of it. The attitude adopted is 
prompted by a realization of how much greater might have been the advances 
of medicine if the abuses discussed did not exist; and by an appreciation of 
how much needless misery and inexcusable suffering might have been spared 
mankind. 

Health and life are man's most precious possessions; and anxiety to pre- 
serve them is natural. It is not surprising, thereore, that they have been 
exploited since time immemorial. Every age has had its charlatans, quacks 
and medicine men. 

Much in the same measure as social organization has attained its highest 
pitch in the present era, the exploitation of health and life today has reached 
its zenith. Never before in history has there arisen such an extensive con- 
spiracy about the problem of public health of entire nations, involving well 
organized, opposing political and commercial groups. 

The consequence of this welter of exploitation is the sacrifice of human 
comfort, happiness, health and life. It can not be gainsaid that the average 
span of life has been greatly lengthened in the past century. But it also can 
not be denied that mankind could be spared much misery, maiming and suffer- 
ing if the rackets revolving about health could be eliminated. 

Mankind has felt quite helpless before these rackets, though their existence 
long has been surmised. But the attitude adopted has been much like that 
of the ostrich: 

“Why shall we face the horrors of the situation and permit ourselves 
to develop a fear and consternation of the medical care and institutions 
which we must accept when ill? It will only aggravate matters.” 

This attitude implies a failure to realize that most of these rackets will shrivel 
and vanish when exposed; and the balance can be destroyed easily by the 



force of public opinion and action intelligently directed. It is my purpose 
to expose them and to point out how the public can act to protect itself. 

A word of explanation is in order regarding my use of the word '‘racket." 
I use it in the colloquial or slang senses, in all their shades of connotation* 
As defined in the Practical Standard Dictionary, these senses are as follows: 

2 . (Slang, U. S.) (2) Any occupation by which money is made 
legitimately or otherwise, (i) ... a scheme, plan or proceeding . . . 

There should be no difficulty in judging from the context which sense it is 
desired to convey. Some of the passages undoubtedly will be resented and 
regarded as exposing their subjects to derision. But I say truthfully and 
sincerely that my motive is not malice. It is the desire to protect the health 
and life of the public and to see justice done. 



CHAPTER L 

MERCHANTS IN MEDICINE 


ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 

An advertising quack was the “leader” of the American medical pro- 
fession and the boss of American Medical Association during the last 
four decades. But this would not surprise informed persons; for com- 
mercialism of “leaders” of medicine is one of the oldest traditions in this 
country. 

Thus we find in the laws of Virginia of 1639, reenacted in 1646, the 
following disquisition on medical commercialism : 

“Whereas by the 9th act of the Assembly held the 21st of October, 
1639, consideration being had and taken of the imoderate and excessive 
rates and prices exacted by practitioners in physic and chyrurgery and 
the complaints made to the then Assembly of the bad consequences 
thereof. It so happening through the said intolerable exactions that 
the hearts of divers masters were hardened rather to suffer their servants 
to perish for want of fit mcancs and applications then by seeking relief e 
to fall into the hands of griping and avaricious men.” 

The law provided that a physician could be arrested and haled into court 
if accused of excessive charges. Then also there existed the tendency to blame 
the consequences of avarice of men on the medical profession. 

No doubt there were in the profession then also men who were imbued 
with the spirit of research and service to mankind. But the very character of 
such men bars them from success in the sordid game of medical politics. The 
bosses or “leaders” of organized medicine are generally the least scrupulous 
members of the profession, men who care least for the value of human life, 
who play the game without conscience for the highest profits; and rarely are 
they derived from the rank of true scientists and healers. 

The entire early history of medicine in this country was a commerical 
war upon competitors by these medical bosses, who termed themselves 
“regular” practitioners. Looking backward we now realize that many of 
these medical merchants were no less quacks than were some of the groups 
that they presumed to attack and persecute, and sought to drive out. Much 
of their “accepted practice” we now know was rank murder. Among these 
murderous practices were copious bleeding and medication with large doses 
of tartar emetic. The short expectancy of life in those days was due in no 
small measure to the medical practices of the “regulars.” George Wash- 
ington, for instance, because he had quinsy, was bled to death by a “regular” 
doctor. 

At least one school of practitioners of the time, the homeopaths, whom 
the regulars” sought to bar from practice, represented a distinct advance. 


9 



Their small doses did not poison patients as did the copious doses of the 
"regulars.” 

STATE MEDICAL SOCIETIES GAIN AND LOSE 
LICENSE POWERS 

History has a curious way of repeating itself in medical politics. The 
"regulars” organized themselves into State Medical Societies and played 
the game of politics with the same signal success as characterizes their suc- 
cessors 1 activities. They secured the passage of laws which gave the right 
of medical licensure to their Societies, together with many other privileges. 
These powers they used to create for themselves monopolies of medical busi- 
ness. Competitors were labelled "irregulars” and "quacks” and were denied 
the right to practice. Consultation of their members with the interdicted 
groups was barred ; and those who refused to accept the discipline were 
persecuted. 

Since the operation of medical schools was the most lucrative phase of 
medicine (and it still is) the bosses of the Societies established for them- 
selves a monopoly of medical education, and drove competitors out of busi- 
ness on the pretense of "elevation of the standards of medical education” 
and "the protection of public health.” The discipline which was designed 
to further the commercial interests of these groups was given the specious 
name of "ethics.” No more false use has ever been made of the term 
"ethics.” But even in those days medical politicians were shrewd publicity 
men. 

The power of these State Medical Societies and of their bosses under 
the early medical license laws waxed greatest about 1825. Openly and 
brazenly the powers granted by the laws were used to established monopolies 
of medical practice for the boss medical merchants and to mulct the public. 
The bitter commercial rivalry between individual medical bosses, and their 
shameless wars for monopoly of the medical school business, became public 
scandals. As a consequence, these laws had been repealed in almost every 
state, and the State Medical Societies were shorn of their powers, before 
the end of 1849. 

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION FORMED 

The medical merchants resolved to retain their monopoly of medical 
practice and to bar competition by flaunting and circumventing the law 
through a monopoly of medical education. It was for this purpose that 
the American Medical Association was organized on May 1 1, 1846, at a 
convention of the discredited State Medical Societies held in New York 
City. Dr. Nathan Smith Davis of New York City was the moving spirit 
of the Association; and in later years lie became the first editor of its Journal. 

The objective for which the American Medical Association was founded, 
a monopoly of medical practice and of medical education, was not attained 
under the regime of Dr. Davis. He lacked the cunning, the ruthlessness 
and the unscrupulous ness requisite for the task. During his regime the 
organization remained a loose assembly of State Societies, all jealous of one 
another. The membership represented medical schools that were competing 


10 



bitterly for business and destroying the very monopoly of medical practice 
which they sought. Amidst the dissension, new medical schools were crop- 
ping up daily, and the competition became more highly intensified than 
ever. Even powerful medical bosses could hardly get together enough stu- 
dents to make a decent living. 

“DOC' GEORGE H. SIMMONS, QUACK 

Upon this scene there emerged in 1899 “Doc” George H. Simmons, a 
monumental figure in the field of medical quackery and racketeering. He 
openly ruled the American Medical Association during the next twenty-five 
years and attained the objectives for which it had been founded. 

Immigrating from England in 1870, he promptly entered the newspaper 
field, becoming editor of the Nebraska Farmer , associate editor of the 
Nebraska State Journal, and field correspondent for the Kansas City Journal . 
He was an unscrupulous but astute politician. 

Impelled by the “get- rich -quick” spirit, Simmons left the field of journal- 
ism in 1884 and launched on a career of medical quackery in Lincoln, Ne- 
braska. There is no evidence that “Doc” Simmons had ever had any med- 
ical education, or any formal education. But this did not deter him from 
making conflicting claims to education in existing and non-existent institu- 
tions in quack advertisements of his professional talents in the Lincoln news- 
papers. In some of his advertisements he called himself a homeopath. In 
others he announced himself to be a “licentiate of the Rotunda Hospital of 
Dublin;” though, unfortunately for his claims, the hospital never issued 
any licenses. Later in life, Simmons claimed attendance at Tabor College, 
Iowa, and at the University of Nebraska, which claim is equally questionable. 

In short, without any authenticated medical education “Doc” Simmons 
launched into business as an advertising quack. Even for those rough and 
tumble days of medical racketeering his newspaper advertisements were most 
lurid. He declared himself as a universal specialist in diseases of men, 
women and children. Boldly he announced “A limited number of lady 
patients can be accommodated at my residence” — which in those days was 
the form of announcement of abortionists. In addition to his personal ad- 
vertising, “Dr.” Simmons’ name was also carried by the newspaper advertise- 
ments of a beauty and massage parlor, and of a fraudulent sanitarium, the 
Lincoln Institute. 

By the royal road of quackery and worse, “Doc” Simmons rapidly rose 
to wealth and influence. His political activities soon gained for him the posi- 
tion of secretary of the Nebraska State Medical Society and of the Western 
Surgical and Gynecological Society. He put to use his experience in journal- 
ism, and founded and became the editor of the Western Medical Review. 

After ns ‘ ng to a measure of eminence as a medical merchant and quack. 
Doc 1 Simmons decided, with an eye to scaling further heights, that the 
tune was ripe for him to secure a medical degree. He got his only authentic 
degree from one of the many diploma mills which sold them through the 
mails, ^ While he was practicing in Lincoln, Nebraska, the ubiquitous 
doctor” was registered as a medicat student many hundred miles away at 
the Rush Medical College in Chicago. The prescriptions and birth certifi- 


11 



Have You a Baqy 


i K, trboro \re have in- 
terior doing 

CLASS 

jpi&kt: a specialty, , 
or a vehicle desired at 
keep on h and a good itae 
oifftcture and do general 


RIDGE'S FOOD. 

None gamine wlttvntWooWdi^ O#, OO IAI 



G. H. SIMMONS, M. D, 

SPECIALIST. 

Dmtescpedft! attention to ti» 

Diseases of Imp, 

Have spent a year *jm a half tn the Urr*t ho* 
ptui* at Loadontjuad Yieana. aad bold a diploma 
m Licentiate ot Oto«jow*t *tu) Obstetric* from 
the Bola n d* Hfitjnt&la, DiisSn, Ireland. 



Tmls iB Mefflal tSugwl Diseases of ff cbm 


A limited n 


omoK, non o ST.‘ iinimiy im 

RESIDENCE, 1310 O ST. } UN OULU, Htft 

Tele phono* 061 JHM MPf, 


QUACK ADVERTISEMENT OF THE ORGANIZER AND BOSS OF THE AMERICAN 
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION IN FORMAT USED BY ABORTIONISTS 

The lines, “A limited number of lady patients can be accommodated at my residence," was the form regu- 
larly used by abortionists m then advertising m those days. The London and Vienna hospital experience 
and the Irish license are fictitious. This advertisement appeared at a later date than that of the 
Lincoln Institute, but years before "Doc” Simmons had obtained bis diploma mill degree. 


12 





cates which he wrote almost daily in Lincoln, Nebraska* indicate that he 
there engaged in a very active practice while supposed to be attending courses 
a t Rush Medical College, Evidently, he had no difficulty in being in two 
places at the same time. 

In his position as officer of the Nebraska State Medical Society, Simmons 
shrewdly played the game of politics in the badly disorganized parent organi- 
zation, the American Medical Association. 

“DOC” SIMMONS SEIZES CONTROL OF A. M. A. 

In 1899 he seized control of the moribund American Medical Association. 
He had himself appointed organizer and undertook to build up the member- 
ship. He was also appointed secretary of the Association and editor of its 
Journal. In 1901, at the St. Paul Convention* the Association was officially 
“reorganized” and Simmons grabbed for himself, in addition to his other 
jobs, the position of general manager of the Association, Thus “Doc” 
Simmons, notorious advertising quack and abortionist, self-avo wed “homeo- 
path,” and diploma-mill licentiate, became the boss and dictator of the official 
organization of “regular” medicine, the American Medical Association. 

“Doc” Simmons surrounded himself with a crew as unscrupulous as 
himself. One of his most trusted lieutenants was a Secretary of the Kentucky 
State Board of Health, who at one time had been arrested for a shortage of 
over sixty-two thousand dollars in his accounts. He did not even bother to 
deny the criminal charges, but came to court armed with a Governor’s 
pardon. 

The bosses of the A. M. A. had been well schooled in the game of 
politics. With their aid, Simmons promptly went about the task of making 
the American Medical Association pay him and his gang higher returns 
than had the quack and abortion businesses or the Lincoln Institute. As 
spokesman of the official organization of the medical profession, Simmons 
gained complete control of immensely rich and almost virgin fields for ex- 
ploitation. No more perfect combination can be conceived than the “genius” 
of an unscrupulous quack and the complete control of organized medicine 
to insure a highly profitable enterprise. 

The tactics by which the medical rackets were built up are related in 
the following chapters. They include sham representative government, 
stuffed ballot boxes and all varieties of fraud and illegality, organization 
steam-roller, intimidation, libel, slander, strong-arm tactics, suppression of 
freedom of speech and publication, destruction of competing organizations 
and publications, monopolistic control of medical advertising that, combined 
with extortion and blackmail, won them a strangle hold on the drug and 
related industries. They also included alliance with the more unscrupulous 
and dangerous political and social forces that could not be mastered, censor- 
ship of the press, and every type of villainy that could conceivably further 
their sought objective. 

“CODE OF ETHICS” DICTATED BY A QUACK 

In this manner medical racketeers once again attained the objective 
gained and lost in the first quarter of the nineteenth century — an absolute 
control of the medical businesses. 



It is Tronic to consider that it was an unregenerate quack who dictated the 
“code of ethics 11 which the member physicians of the A. M. A. accept. Its 
origin gives some insight into its commercial character. 

Under the regime of Simmons and his henchmen the American Medical 
Association utilized the control of the press, which it had gained, to dispel 
the malodor of its origin. Simmons resigned as editor in 1924, and became 
editor emeritus and general manager, where he remained, until his death in 
1937 ? the man behind the throne. He appointed in his place Dr. Morris 
Fishbein to perpetuate the regime. 

Fishbem proved himself a worthy successor. With Simmons lurking be- 
hind him he carried the Association to new heights of quackery and of power 
and dominion over the medical profession, medical education, the press, and 
the drug and allied interests. 

U. S. SENATE EXPOSES SIMMONS 1 QUACKERY 

It is an interesting commentary on the “principles” which guide medical 
politicians that so long as “Doc” Simmons lived, his henchmen stood ready to 
defend him to the last ditch. Thus, during the Investigation of the Ad- 
ministration of the Federal Food and Drug Act by the U. S. Senate Com- 
mittee on Agriculture and Forestry, during the seventy-first Congress in 
1930, Olin West rose bravely to defend his chief, Simmons. (“Hearings,” 
p. 292-295) : 

“Senator Wheeler. I have just been handed, by a gentleman over 
here, an article appearing in one of the State journals: 

“ ‘How to enlarge your practice. George H. Simmons, M.D., 

editor emeritus of Journal of A. M. A. Reprinted from Lincoln 

(Nebr.) State Journal. Ridge's food. None genuine without Wool- 

rich & Co. on label. G H. Simmons, M.D. 

“Doctor West. What is the date of that, Senator, may I ask? 

“Senator Wheeler. I could not say. 

“Doctor West. What has that to do with this particular matter? 

“Senator Wheeler. I was just wondering if that was an advertise- 
ment that the council would approve of. 

“Senator Copeland. Is that the Doctor Simmons who was formerly 
editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association? 

“Doctor West. I do not know who he is. I have not seen it. 

“Senator Wheeler. He says he was formerly editor of the A. M. A. 
Journal, and now is editor emeritus of the Journal. 

“Senator Copeland. This, I take it, was one of the indiscretions of 
his youth. 

“Senator Wheeler. I do not so understand, 

“Doctor West. Mr. Chairman, this is exactly in line with the 
manoeuvers that have been carried on with regard to other matters. 
This is an advertisement which I think — I cannot tell j r ou definitely — 
appeared probably 35 to 40 years ago, and perhaps considerably beyond 


14 




QUACK ADVERTISEMENT OF THE BOSS OF THE AMERICAN 
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 

This advertisement appeared in tbe Lincoln, Nebraska, newspapers years before be obtained his mail order 
diploma from Rush Medical College. In this license “Doc” Simmons represents himself as a homeopath. 
He grew more ambitious in his later advertisements and claimed to be a “licentiate of Gynecology 
and Obstetrics from the Rotunda Hospitals, Dublin, Ireland”. Note the humbug “Compound Oxygen” Cure. 


15 








that time, even long before Dr. G. H* Simmons had any connection 
whatever with the American Medical Association. . , . 

"Senator Wheeler. He is the same man? 

"Doctor West. I think he is. 

"Senator Wheeler. The same man who was the editor of the Journal 
of the A. M. A.? 

"Doctor West. In later years. . . * 

"Senator Wheeler. He is the same man who is now editor emeritus 
of the Journal of the A. M* A.? 

"Doctor West. Yes, sin 

• # i • ■ 

"Senator Wheeler. ... It was put in here for the purpose of calling 
your attention to the fact that the man who was the head of the 
American Medical Association Journal, and who objects to all adver- 
tisements, was himself an advertising doctor . . . the point I am making 
here is that here is a man who was what you would call an advertising 
faker in connection with women's diseases, who afterwards became so 
rigid about advertisements going into the Journal. 

"Doctor West. No, Senator; I do not say that. 

"Senator Wheeler. The medical profession generally calls these 
doctors who advertise that they are specialists on men's diseases and 
women's diseases advertising fakers, does it not? . . . 

. . . I am going to ask that that be inserted in the record, 

"Senator Copeland. Both sides? 

"Senator Wheeler. I have not seen the other side. Here is the 
other side of it, which had not been called to my attention. 

1 Lincoln Medical Institute and water cure. Turkish Russian, 
vapor, electric, and medicated baths.* 

"Senator Copeland, Senator, really this has no bearing on the case, 
has it? 

"Senator Wheeler. Except for the fact that the very man, I assume, 
who is now denouncing all these fake medical institutes and gonorrhea 
cures, and so forth, was formerly in that very business himself, appar- 
ently. I am glad to know that he has reformed, however, according to 
the doctor. 

..... 

"Senator Wheeler. You do not permit advertisements of the 
character of that of Doctor Simmons to appear in the Medical Journal, 
do you? 

"Doctor West. No. We do not permit any such advertisement; 
and if any doctor were to advertise in that manner today, we would 
oppose it, and expose it, and condemn it, 

"Senator Wheeler. You would not permit him, as a matter of fact, 
to belong to the Medical Association, would you? 

“Doctor West. No, sir. 

"Senator Wheeler. That is correct; is it? 


16 



“Doctor West* Yes, sir. A man who would advertise in that man- 
ner today, would have charges preferred against him. 

“Senator Wheeler. And he would be thrown out of the Medical 
Association.” 

FISHBEIN'S TRIBUTE TO “FATHER” SIMMONS 
While Simmons was alive, Dr. Morris Fishbein understudied him. Dur- 
ing this time, Fishbein was in the habit of telling friends “Simmons has 
treated me like a father.” 

Within a few months after Simmons had died, in January, 1938, I had 
occasion to question Fishbein from the floor at a meeting of the New York 
County Medical Society. 

“Is it not true,” I asked Fishbein, “that the leadership of the medical 
profession has been corrupt, dishonest and incompetent ?” 

Replying in the affirmative, Fishbein showed an admirable mixture of 
heartfelt gratitude and respect for the dead. “Doc” Simmons, he said, was 
hardly the type of man to lead the medical profession. But, he said, the 
character of Simmons 1 rivals for control of the A. M, A., Dr. G. Frank 
Lydston and other aspirants, were in his estimate of lower calibre than 
Simmons. Sic transit gloria imindi. 

NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINES SIMMONS 

An eloquent commentary on the perverted power of the A. M. A. is the 
obituary on Simmons in the September 2, 1937 issue of the New York 
Times . Under the headline “Noted For War On Quacks,” it published a 
highly laudatory obituary on Simmons, the prince of quacks. 

Editing or suppression of well-known information by the Times is not 
surprising; for its recognized policy is to publish only the news that can be 
made “fit to print.” The surprising feature that demonstrated the ascend- 
ency of the A. M. A. was the abandonment of an attitude of bitter antagon- 
ism which, since it has become subservient to Organized Social Service, the 
Times has assumed toward the Association's personnel, when such an excellent 
opportunity for wholesome exposure presented itself. 

A. M. A. SUBSIDIARIES AND AGENTS 

The maintenance of power in the nation-wide medical organization de- 
pends upon alliances with subsidiaries and satellites. In every community, 
local merchants -in-medicine whose specialty is politics serve as allies and 
agents. Their reward is power, undeserved reputations which they gain 
from their control of medical licensure and education, large practices secured 
through a monopoly of medical institutions and the advertising which they 
yield, and incomes that are dependent on the privilege of preying on the 
public which the monopoly of the institutions gives them. They are limited 
solely by their greed and the capacity of the public to suffer and pay. 

1 he agencies through which they operate are the subsidiary county and 
state medical societies. From among their bosses there are chosen each year 
t e figure-head presidents, officers, and dummy directors, of the A. M. A. 
n return for a free rein in their local territories, they do not “horn in” on 


17 



the enterprises and boo die of the national organization bosses for whom they 
act as stuffed-shirt fronts. 

Simmons made the position of his group impregnable. They own the 
A. M. A. and dictate its activities. The subsidiary state societies, such as 
those of Illinois and New Jersey, have attempted to revolt repeatedly, but 
have been whipped back into line. 

MEDICAL LEADERS FEAR RACKETEERING OVERLORDS 

To what extent the local medical powers are intimidated and fearful of 
the overlords of the medical rackets is made apparent by the following letter 
to me from a prominent physician: 

“I have been in practice here since 1896, and I now feel very much 
the hypocrite because I have ridden on the bandwagon of organized 
medicine ever since the present American Medical Association was set 
up. I have been twice the President of the local organization and for 
several years one of the counselors of the — State Medical As- 

sociation. 

"l EXPECT TO KEEP ON RIDING THERE EVEN THOUGH I KNOW THE 
RACKETEERING CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE ORGANIZATION. I knew 

Dr. George H. Simmons, now deceased, President Emeritus and dictator 
extraordinair of the American Medical Association when he was a 
homeopathic quack out in Lincoln, Nebraska, and using bill boards for 
advertising; shades of Munyan and Brinkley, either one of them was far 
more ethical than was George H. Simmons. Furthermore, I know just 
bow he got his diploma as a regular physician, but i am not going to 

STICK OUT MY NECK ENOUGH TO TELL IT TO SOMEONE IN WRITING. 

“I also know all about the specialists with certificate rackets now be- 
ing practised. I also knew Franklin Martin’s F.A.CS. racket at its 
inception at the American Congress of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gyne- 
cology. I also know all about the Frank Smithes 1 FA.C.P. racket. I , 
also know all about the Willy s Andrews families and many N. S. Davis 
families and their relationship to the past and present organization of 
medicine. 

. . I am just writing you these things to let you know why I can- 
not assist you in writing up the history of medicine in this section of the 
country. I want you to know that I do not hate any of these men past 
or present, including Morris Fishbein, the present Hitler of medicine, and 
01 in West, the Goering of medicine. In fact 1 have to admit to you my 
association with them has been happy and pleasant, but having grown up 
in the old spirit of ethical medicine it rankles me to know what is going 
on and that I can do nothing about it. 

"I wonder if you saw the play " The Servant In The House” many 
years ago. If so you will recall the character of the drain man who 
found all of the filth of the Church of England in the drains and 
sewer beneath the church and the rectory. That is what I know about 
our organization from its inception to the present day. now can you 


n 



WOND ER THAT I FEEL THAT I AM A HYPOCRITE FOR RIDING ON THE BAND 
WAGON OF SUCH AN ORGANIZATION WHEN I KNOW WHAT IS BENEATH ?” 

PRESIDENT OF A. M. A. CONFESSES HE IS DUMMY AND 

FIGUREHEAD 

How completely Olin West and Fishbein and their ring own and control 
the A. M. A. and how little voice the rank and file members and their 
elected officers have, is aptly illustrated by the following affidavit filed by 
Dr. Nathan B. Van Etten, President of the A. M. A, 

{Certified Copy of Affidavit Now Filed) 

In the District Court of the United States 
for the Southern District of New York 


J. Thompson Stevens, M.D. 

Plaintiff, 

— against — 

Morris Fishbein, M.D., and The 
American Medical Association, 

Defendants. Affidavit of 

Nathan B. Van Etten 
State of New York, 

ss. : County of Bronx, 


Nathan B. Van Etten, being duly sworn, deposes and says: 

I am a practising physician duly licensed in the State of New York and 
have been a practising physician since March IO, 1890. I reside at 1 20 
West 183 rd Street, New York City and maintain an office for the practice 
of my profession at 300 East Tremont Avenue, New York City. I have 
been a member of the American Medical Association for some 40 years and 
at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association held in June, 
1939, I was elected President of the American Medical Association and took 
office as President on June 11, 1940. 

On June 12, 1940, while attending the annual meeting of the American 
Medical Association at the Hotel Waldorf Astoria, 50th Street and Park 
Avenue, New York City, copies of a summons and complaint in the above- 
entitled action were given to me and I am informed that these were given 
to me as purported service of process on the American Medical Association. 
This affidavit is submitted by me in support of a motion by the American 

Medical Association to set aside and vacate the purported service of process 
herein. 


My sole office in the American Medical Association is as President. I 
avc no executive or administrative duties in connection with that office, the 
°f C R P riinaril y an honorary one and my chief function as President 

° * e ss °riation being to deliver talks in various parts of the country to 
m ^ 1Ca ! bodies and to acquaint physicians and the public generally 
t e functions and purposes of the American Medical Association and 


19 



with subjects of special interest to the medical profession and the public 
generally. The chief executive officer of the American Medical Association 
is the Secretary and General Manager who is, at the present time, Olin 
West. His office is at 535 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. I 
transact no business of any kind for the American Medical Association in the 
State of New York. My office at 300 East Tremont Avenue is not an 
office of the American Medical Association but merely an office which has 
been maintained by me for some years for the sole purpose of the practice 
of my profession. I have never been given any authority to act for the 
American Medical Association in New York, to transact business for it in 
the State of New York, nor to enter into any negotiations, contracts or 
agreements on its behalf nor am I authorized to accept the payment of any 
moneys on behalf of the American Medical Association or conduct business 
of any nature for it in the State of New York, nor do I perform any such 
functions. 

NATHAN B. VAN ETTEN, M.D. 

Sworn to before me this 
29th day of June, 1940, 

Notary Public Bronx County 

Clerk’s No. 197, Registers No. 235-M-41. 

Commission Expires March 30, 1941. 

Bessie R. MacEnery, Notary Public 

(Notarial Seal) 

MEDICAL BOSSES PREY ON RANK AND FILE 
Increasingly it has become the practise of the local medical bosses to fill 
their purses from the treasuries of their organizations. An unsuccessful at- 
tempt of this type was made in the New York County Medical Society in 
January 1940. The Old Guard representing organized medicine, including 
Drs. Charles Gordon Heyd, Alfred M. Heilman, Clarence Bandler and 
Samuel J. Kopetzky, have been fighting a losing battle on the cohorts of the 
Social Service Racket and their radical and Communist allies, led by Drs. 
Ernest Boas, Henry B. Richardson, Carl Binger and Giles W. Thomas, for 
the control of the Society and its funds. 

Since the Society is ruled by its secretary, the Old Guard undertook to 
assure its control by giving its henchman, Dr. B. Wallace Hamilton, secre- 
tary, a five year contract at double his past salary, or twelve thousand dollars 
a year. Their opponents, w r ho seek full control of the Society and its treasury 
for their masters and themselves, fought this maneuver with the aid of co- 
operating newspapers, and forced a cancellation of the contract. 

The members of the Society are prepared to see the “crusading” social 
service and radical cohorts drain its treasury for salaries for their henchmen 
and utilize it for agitation for Socialized Medicine and for an intensified cam- 
paign of vilification and betrayal of the profession. They have already urged 
upon Mayor LaGuardia that physicians be denied the protection of Civil Ser- 
vice, security of tenure and an adequate wage, that are accorded to all other 
workers in public employ. This they have done through the "Coordinat- 



ing Committee** of the five County Medical Societies of New York City. Thus 
Joes Organized Medicine "protect” its members in much the same fashion 
a s the racketeer "protects** industry or Germany "protects” Norway. 

A. M. A. RACKETEERING IS SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENT 

AGENCIES 

Though the Department of Justice has filed an indictment against the 
American Medical Association and its racketeering bosses, almost every other 
branch of the Federal and State governments that acts in the domain of 
medicine is completely dominated by the Association. Most recent and striking 
of these illegal delegations of governmental power to a private agency, is the 
granting to the American Medical Association of virtual control of the medical 
aspects of military conscription. 

The past record of the A. M. A. makes it quite clear that the power dele- 
gated to it by the government will not be used for the promotion of national 
defense, but will be used to mend the political fences of the Association and 
to destroy its enemies, especially all physicians and manufacturers who do not 
bow to its dictates. In 1917, for instance, the A. M. A. barred from military 
service the distinguished physician and surgeon, Professor G. Frank Lydston 
of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, by means of records that were 
later acknowledged to be false, because of his attacks on corruption in the 
A. M. A. 

This is further made clear by the decree ordered by the American Medical 
Association that no physician who has graduated from any school that is not 
approved by it, no matter how competent and experienced he may be, may 
receive a commission or serve as a physician ; and that any such physicians who 
may be drafted must serve as ordinary privates, in spite of the announced 
shortage of physicians in the service. The same ruling has been decreed 
extended by the A. M. A. to graduates of foreign medical schools of the 
highest rating. 

More will be related presently concerning the Government support of 
the racketeering of the bosses of the A. M. A. and their fellow merchants- 
in-mcdicine. 


21 



CHAPTER It 

THE MEDICAL SERF AND ORGANIZED MEDICINE 


Qoerciok of doctors into tribute is the secret of the present malevolent 
power of organized medicine. No attempt is made to mask this coer- 
cion. Thus, the Special Committee on New Members of the New York County 
Medical Society made the following report, in 1933, published in the Medical 
Week of February 10, 1934: 

“2. That membership in the County Medical Society be made more 
desirable to the younger men, so that they will find it advantageous 
to join, instead of being coerced into joining " 

But the Committee proceeded to recommend a new method of coercion; 

“3. That the efforts of the Special Committee on Hospitals and Dis- 
pensaries be enlisted in the approach to hospitals for having mem- 
bership in the County Medical Society a prerequisite for staff 
positions.” 

In this manner the fondest dreams of “Doc” Simmons have been fulfilled 
by his heirs. 

COERCION SUPPORTED BY LAW 

The law has created for organized medicine many methods of coercion 
of the medical profession. In this both Federal and State governments have 
collaborated. The states have given the State Medical Societies direct or 
indirect control over medical licensure once again. 

The Federal government, through the Emergency Relief Administration, 
delegated to committees representing the county medical societies its authority 
to appoint needy and destitute physicians to Relief rolls. These committees 
led the profession to understand that appointments might not be forth- 
coming to non-member physicians. 

Another coercive measure is an amendment of the Workmen’s Compensa- 
tion Act passed by the New York State Legislature in 1935. This amend- 
ment, which is clearly unconstitutional, restricts the injured in the choice 
of physician to a panel drawn up by the county medical societies. 

The City and State of New York have created such coercive devices as 
the following: 

The Commissioner of Hospitals of New York City, Dr. Goldwater, 
has made it a rule that the privilege of the use of the facilities of hos- 
pitals and appointments to hospital staffs shall he denied the physicians 
who are not members of the New York county medical societies. Thus 
the hospital facilities provided by the community for its ill have been 
prostituted to organized medicine. 

In an act providing for the licensing of nurses, physicians who are 

22 



not members of the New York State Medical Society were barred from 
signing affidavits that nurses must obtain from physicians to secure 
their licenses. 

A regulation issued by Commissioner of Police Valentine of New 
York City in 1939, extended the right of parking autos in areas for- 
bidden to all others, to the members of the New York State Medical 
Society and of kindred organizations. This means that only physicians 
who paid tribute to those organizations would he granted the privilege 
of rapidly reaching the bedside of patients in the forbidden areas. 

Most perfect is the method of coercion given the Societies under the 
law passed by New York Legislature in 1939 permitting the formation 
of “non-profit” medical indemnity corporations. The regulations estab- 
lished for the administration of the law by the State Welfare and In- 
surance Departments give the societies the privilege of ousting phys- 
icians from the panel of those eligible, on any pretext that they devise. 
A more perfect set-up for the rackets of organized medicine could 
hardly be conceived — it will hold the profession’s purse strings and ex- 
tract and extort what it wills. 

The medical societies are taking full advantage of these laws and regulations 
in coercing physicians to join their ranks and do their bidding. 

EXTORTION AND INTIMIDATION PRACTICED 

Among the physicians who thus are being coerced and subjected to the 
extortion of the twenty dollars, or more, membership dues of the county 
medical societies are the poorest members of the profession. They are the 
physicians who are forced by circumstances to seek Relief; who are forced 
to content themselves with the absurdly meagre fees allowed for Workmen’s 
Compensation work. In order to become eligible for even these meagre 
fees, the New York County Medical Society has demanded of its members 
that they sign away such constitutional rights as the right of “privileged 
communication” which the law has provided to protect the interests of the 
patient, and the right to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result 
of any action of the Society. 

Members also are compelled, on joining, to sign away their freedom of 
speech and publication. Non-members are robbed of these rights by a con- 
spiracy between organized medicine and the press. The organization is an 
autocracy that reduces the individual physician to the status of a pawn and 
flaunts the law with impunity. 

Some of these laws and regulations not only offer stigma and affront to 
physicians who refuse to join the Society, but also violate the Constitution 
of the State by illegal delegation of power; for the Constitution provides 
that the power to confer the rights and prerogatives of the practice of medi- 
cine belong to the State Department of Education. The discriminatory 
rights and privileges extended to the New York State Medical Society, a 
private membership corporation, exceed the power of the State itself. It 
e oquently bespeaks the Impotence of the individual members of the profession 
an 0 the State itself against organized medicine, that these laws have not 


23 



been challenged successfully in the courts, in spite of their obvious uncon- 
stitutionality. 

This situation gravely concerns everyone who is subject to human ills. 
Let us stop and ask ourselves: 

"What is the meaning of this coercion of a group of supposedly in- 
telligent men who are licensed to practice medicine by the State, into a 
membership corporation whose charter states that it is primarily organized 
for the purpose of protecting the interests of its members?” 

Obviously it does not even do that; for if it did, it would not find it neces- 
sary to coerce the profession into membership. 

STRUCTURE OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 

Organized medicine makes its bow to the nation under the banners of 
the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and 
local academies of medicine. Because of the coercive laws and regulations, 
tens of thousands of physicians have been forced to join the A. M. A. Its 
membership comprises about 116,000 physicians, or three quarters of the 
profession, making it the largest medical organization in the country. 

The American Medical Association is built up of local county, district 
and state medical societies that are interlocked by officership and directorate 
with each other and with the national Association. Dues paid by the mem- 
bers of the county societies filter into the larger units and finance them. 

The county medical society is the cornerstone. It is a membership 
corporation. The qualifications for membership are a medical degree, the 
payment of annual dues, and the willingness of the officers of the organiza- 
tion to accept the member and bis dues. Inasmuch as there is little reluctance 
in accepting dues, it is the dues which, as a rule, are the primary qualifica- 
tions for membership. Neither competence nor reputability are signified by 
membership. On the contrary, the less reputable physicians invariably join 
to shield their malefactions. 

NEW YORK COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY 

The New York County Medical Society might be studied as a typical 
example of these societies. The sole privilege accorded to a member-at-large 
of the Society is the privilege of paying dues and of attending meetings. The 
latter is seldom exercised because little or nothing of scientific value gen- 
erally is heard at the meetings, which cannot be found in the older textbooks 
and literature. The presentation of papers before the Society is regarded 
by its bosses as a mode of advertisement; or as a device for securing political 
advantages from other units of the organization. Presenters of papers are 
chosen chiefly for political and commercial reasons, not for scientific. The 
rarity of presentation of new discoveries, the officers of the Society justify 
on the ground that "the scientific preparation and level of intelligence of the 
membership is too low to permit understanding of new scientific discoveries ” 
The true reason is the fear of the bosses that their reputations as authorities 
and their practices might be endangered by discoveries. 

Even discussion, if any is permitted, js limited to members of a clique 


24 



whose names are advertised in the program. Late in the evening, there may 
b e a call for general discussion, after most of the members have either gone 
horne to bed or fallen asleep in their seats. Seldom will a member rise to 
discuss the paper. When one dares do so, there passes through the hall a 
stir which awakens even the sleeping members. The daring one will be per- 
mitted a minute or two of discussion, which is rudely interrupted in the 
middle of a sentence by the gavel of a presiding officer, with the remark, 
"Your time is up!” I write from many personal experiences. 

The daring or uninformed member has violated the unwritten rule that 
none of the rank and file members may participate in the proceedings and 
discussions. Unpleasant things soon begin to happen to him. He feels the 
vengeful hnnd of the Society raised to enforce its discipline. Slanderous and 
sometimes libelous stories are circulated among the medical fraternity and 
among the public to the effect that the guileless or daring member is crazy or 
a radical. He is shunned and ostracized by timid colleagues and reviled by 
bolder ones. If he is connected with a hospital or clinic, he may soon find 
himself ousted on the ground of incompetence — a stigma on his reputation. 
No effort is spared by the organization to undermine his vital asset — his 
reputation. 

The business meeting of the Society is conducted in the same manner. 
When the Chairman calls for old or new business, no member of the rank 
and file who values his reputation dares rise to propose a new measure. All 
business has been “pre-arranged” in Committee by the political bosses of the 
Society. If a member should arise to propose new business, he is promptly 
informed that no new business may be introduced directly on the floor or 
be voted on directly by the members present; it must be referred to the 
dominating committee. 

MEDICAL ELECTIONS 

Nomination and election of officers in the Society attain the height of 
absurdity in formalities. Under the constitution of the Society, it is prac- 
tically impossible for the rank and file of the members to pick their own 
officers. Nominations perpetuating the regime of the inner clique are made, 
“pre-arranged,” by an officer of the Nominating Committee. Officers 
are elected two years in advance. 

The activities of the County Medical Society vitally affect a number of 
commercial interests, including milk, insurance, and others. The officers of 
the Society are consequently carefully handpicked by agents of those interests 
who dominate the inner ring of the Society. The preferred candidates 
men whose affiliations and dependencies make them pliable and subject 
to influence and domination. The selections generally are made on the basis 
0 ospital affiliations. To guard against upset at elections by independents, 
severe o stacles have been placed in the way of the nomination of inde- 
pendents, m the Society’s Constitution. 

boss n t C CaSC ^ rea tened loss of control of the Society by its established 
nart^ no crooked political device is neglected in the battle to retain it. I 
staff^T atC a an ,nc ^ cnt as nominee, in 1927. Heads of hospital 

° rCC tieir subordinates to stand in line for hours on the penalty of 


25 



losing their jobs, and vote as they were required. There were well-authenti- 
cated rumors of stuffing of ballot boxes and of deliberately fraudulent counts. 
I was informed by a friendly officer of the Society that I was counted out. 
It was then quite obvious that there were large financial stakes involved in 
the control of the otherwise apparently slumbering New York County 
Medical Society. 

The New York Telegram commented editorially on this medico-political 
situation as follows (December 7, 1932) : 

“medical statecraft” 

“Elections are simple things with the Medical Society of the County 
of New York. We note the official ballot of the recent election of that 
body. There is no chance for the voter to become confused as to his 
choice. Each office has one candidate, except in the case of the censors 
and delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. There 
were three candidates for censor, and the instructions say, ‘Vote for 
Three/ There were ten candidates for delegate, and the instructions 
say, ‘Vote for Ten/ The voters were, however, permitted to ‘cross 
out names of candidates not voted for/ 

“It remained for the doctors to simplify statecraft beyond even the 
braves of Union Square.” 

REWARDS OF THE MEDICAL SERF 

Gag rule and steam roller prevail in all the activities of the Society. The 
member who is not satisfied to be repressed by such rule is eventually either 
coerced into silence or suspended from membership on some pretext or another. 

What are the rewards of these bull-dozed, spineless specimens of hu- 
manity who let themselves be coerced into membership and plucked of the 
annual dues in an organization so subversive of their own interests and so 
insulting to their intelligence? They are eligible to contribute their services, 
for which they are not paid, to clinics and hospitals generously provided for 
them by the activities of the County Medical Society. There they may be 
permitted to treat patients whom, except for the existence of these organiza- 
tions, they might treat in their offices for a fee. 

The physician who is in such “good standing” as to be permitted to 
render services gratis in the clinics dominated by the bosses of the Society 
regards himself as fortunate. For the Society has inculcated into the public 
mind, with the aid of the interested social service forces, the idea that the 
physician who does not bow to organized medicine and man its clinics is in- 
competent and is not to be trusted. The docile and acquiescent physicians 
are given the stamp of “competence* of the Society. How untrustworthy is 
this stamp, will be made clear. 

After he has rushed through his stint at the clinic, this “fortunate mem- 
ber” of the Society is free to return to his empty office, to gaze at four 
walls and develop claustrophobia. Few folks realize to what extent the 
psycho-neurosis the medical profession develop in this manner is account- 
able for physicians continuing to work in the clinics year after year, in spite of 


26 



t he fact that they thereby destroy their livelihoods, gain nothing and learn 

n othing. 

Returned to the solitude of his office, the doctor may turn on his radio, 
•f he happens to be able to afford one, and listen to one of his “masters/ 1 the 
favored of the inner ring of the Society, advertise and publicize himself over 
the radio* But let him not dare to follow suit and himself make a radio 
broadcast, if by some accident unforeseen by the medical society the oppor- 
tunity should offer itself. 

The dual “code of ethics” declares that when the medical “leader” or 
boss makes a radio broadcast, it is a case of publicity for the medical pn> 
fession. But when a mere member at large makes the same broadcast, it 
Js publicity and advertising of himself. Should he drop into such an error, 
the member is summoned before the Comitia Minora, as the Tweed Ring 
of Medicine calls itself, and disciplined by suspension. The Society seldom 
takes the more severe disciplinary measure of ousting an offender from mem- 
bership. That would mean cutting off its income. 

Or in the solitude of his office, Dr. Sucker may turn to his newspaper 
and read an article which has been passed and approved by the Censor of 
his Society, whose salary is paid from the membership dues which he and 
his ilk have paid into the coffers of the Society. This article informs the 
public that the Cash-and-Carry Medical Center — where Dr. Sucker donates 
his services gratis — gives infinitely superior services to its patients than does 
a physician such as Dr. Sucker privately in his office. Or it may announce 
on the basis of Federal statistics on childbirth, falsified by inclusion of abor- 
tions, that Dr. Sucker and his confreres are responsible for the death of 
numerous mothers, and are less competent to care for childbirths than are 
midwives. From this news the public can only deduce that they should turn 
for competent obstetrical services only to Dr. Fleecem, Dr. Skinem and 
other members of the Committee whose names are prominently mentioned in 
the publicity matter; or else have their babies in the wards of the Cash-and- 
Carry Hospital and Medical Center, where they will be cared for by Dr. 
Sucker and his confreres. 

SERF VS. OVERLORD 

The position of the rank and file of the profession contrasts sharply with 
that of the medical merchant “leader” or boss. Their position is that of 
serfs, puppets, and stooges of the medical-sodal-service rackets. They are 
ludicrously pathetic figures, befuddled and often not of the highest mental 
calibre. From the moment they enter pre-medical training, they are caught 
between two millstones— the social service rackets, and the treacherously 
racketeering medical organizations. As they advance, they are progressively 
ground down to a condition which eventually leaves them devoid of initia- 
te e an thinking capacity and makes them the stupidly helpless pawns of the 
s /f ier ' rac ^ ets w bich they are coerced to join and support. In so doing 
^destroy their livelihood and crush themselves. 

- . , ere are 4 a ^ ew isolated cases of physicians who cherish and preserve 
on th* ^ in s ^' te terr, fi c economic and political pressure placed 

cm. ey are called “insurgents” and are regarded with suspicion 


27 



by their confreres as being mentally unsound. But the rarest thing in the 
annals of history is the physician who is reckless and foolhardy enough to 
risk his reputation and livelihood in the attempt to clean the Augean stable 
of medical politics* organization and racketeering. Such prodigies are edi- 
torially attacked by the "Boss” himself in the columns of the Journal of 
the A, M« A. as horrible examples* as was I in April, 1930. 

With rare exceptions, physicians follow the path of least resistance even 
though it leads to self-destruction. They find themselves in the status of 
mere men seeking to eke out an existence by caring for the ills and catering 
to the caprices of mankind. They are no more honest than the rank and file of 
mankind. They succumb to pressure and temptation; and accept the tenets 
of the self “Same rackets which destroy them. With few exceptions they 
cherish in their bosoms the almost forlorn hope that they may rise, some day, 
to the racketeering heights of medical bosses and merchants in medicine— 
and thereby win fame and fortune. 

But the hope of winning even fortune is for a great majority of them 
utterly vain. For the physician’s stock in trade is the faith of the patient in 
the falsely assumed ability of the doctor to "cure.” In reality, no doctor 
"cures” any disease; the patient cures himself. The physician can only help 
in the process by making conditions for recovery favorable and by avoiding 
damaging interference with Nature’s workings. To do this, he must at 
times pretend to wisdom and knowledge, when his ignorance is most abysmal ; 
and in these moments he is, at best* a benevolent confidence man. His chief 
stock in trade is the patient's confidence in him. But this confidence has been 
destroyed by the medical and social service rackets. The medical serf has 
been severely handicapped by his lords and masters. 

MEAGRE EARNINGS 

There has never been refuted intelligently the myth that the average 
member of the medical profession is responsible for the "high cost of medical 
care.” While it is true that the medical "leaders” are unconscionably ex- 
orbitant in their charges, the fee scale of the average physician is absurdly 
low and often less than the charges of pay clinics. 

The fees of the average physician today are no higher than they were 
one hundred to one hundred and fifty years ago. The 1817 Fee Bill of the 
Boston Medical Association, and that of New York in 1790, showed charges 
of two to five dollars per initial visit. Consultations were five dollars for 
the first visit and three dollars for subsequent visits. Night visits were five 
dollars. 

The scale of the Workmen's Compensation Insurance fee schedule re- 
cently adopted by the Medical Society of the State of New York differs 
slightly from those of 1790. The charge allowed for the first visit, including 
the filling out of numerous forms and testimony before the Compensation 
referee, is five dollars. Under the 1790 New York Fee Bill the charge 
for filling the forms alone would be ten to fifteen dollars. 

The charge for a night visit in 1790 w'as five dollars; the present sched- 
ule allows four dollars. Incision of an abscess cost the same in 1790 as today 


Z% 



five dollars. The charges for amputation at the shoulder — one hundred 

and fifty dollars — have not risen since 1790. 

Some of the charges made in 1790 were slightly higher than those of today 
3n d vice versa. It should be borne in mind, however, that in those days a 
dozen eggs could be had for a few cents. This makes it apparent how much 
the cost of medical services has dropped in the past century and a half in 
spite of tremendously greater costs of rendering those services. 

LOW WAGE SCALE 

The average physician who seeks part or full-time employment is no 
more fortunate financially than he who seeks to eke out an existence in 
private practice. He finds that the wage scale for doctors is lower than that 
of most forms of unskilled labor. Especially is this true in public service. 

The scale of salaries of physicians in public service is probably highest in 
New York City. Few of the world-renowned physicians who have made 
life safe for the citizens of New York, at the risk of their own health and 
lives, earn after many years of service the eighteen dollars a day of the 
asbestos worker, or the twenty dollars a day of the skilled tool-maker. 

The average pay of doctors working on a part time basis for the Health 
Department of New York City is one dollar and sixty cents per hour. This 
rate has had the approval of the New York County Medical Society. As has 
been related, the Society has suggested that doctors employed by the City, 
especially those in the Health Department, shall be deprived of Civil Service 
protection and of all the rights and privileges, including sick leave, vacation 
and pension which are given to all other municipal workers. The Society is 
controlled completely by the henchmen of organized social service, and has 
adopted as its goal the destruction of the livelihoods of its less affluent and 
less influential members. 

RELIEF AND UNIONIZATION 

The Philadelphia County Assistance Board, a social service agency, set 
the following hour-wage scale in 1939: bricklayers, $1,625 plasterers, $1.55; 
and doctors, $1.51. The medical profession has contributed heavily to swell- 
ing Relief rolls. Approximately a third of New York’s doctors were still 
on Relief in 1937. 

Employed physicians have sought the aid of social service and of labor 
unions in the attempt to gain an adequate wage. The A.F.L, has always 
turned them down on the basis of the convenient myth that doctors, even 
though employed as workers, are capitalist bourgeois and independent entre- 
preneurs. The truth of the matter is that labor employs doctors and prefers 
to be free to take advantage of them without qualms. Also labor has 
espoused the cause of its fellow-travellers, the social service rackets that seek 
to prey on medicine. Under the terms of the Wagner Act, some groups of 
physicians have organized under the C.I.O. But their position has not been 
improved materially thereby. The derogatory attitude of labor towards the 
medical profession has become accentuated. 


29 



EDUCATION COSTS VS. EARNINGS 

The wage of the doctor contrasts sharply with high and ever-mounting 
cost of a medical education and of keeping abreast of changing methods and 
of advances in medicine. It is a curious fact that the more richly medical 
education becomes endowed the costlier does it become to the student. It now 
involves study over a period of twenty to twenty-five years and an average cost 
of between twenty and twenty- five thousand dollars. 

The average work-life of the physician is about thirty years. It can 
easily be calculated that to earn the costs of his education alone the doctor 
woutd have to make about fifteen hundred dollars a year. To earn a bare 
living plus the cost of maintenance of his office, the physician must make 
five thousand dollars a year. In order to keep abreast of medical advance 
and be a competent physician and at the same time live comfortably, the 
physician must earn between seven and ten thousand dollars a year. It is 
doubtful if more than ten percent of the medical profession of this county 
earn this last figure. It is questionable whether one out of four doctors now 
makes enough to amortize the cost of his education alone. In most cases 
now, the study of medicine involves a large economic loss. 

LICENSING RACKET 

This does not imply that there is an excessive number of physicians in the 
country. Many parts of the country have not sufficient physicians; and few 
sections of the country have too many physicians for adequate medical care 
of the public. But each state in the Union licenses its citizen physicians and 
shuts out physicians licensed by other states. This often bars the way to 
adequate medical services to their communities. The situation today is much 
the same as it was in 1846 when the State Medical Societies directly con- 
trolled the licensing of physicians and used their powers to create medical 
monopolies. Curiously enough, some states permit free entry to foreign 
physicians while barring entry of Americans. 

SOCIAL SERVICE COSTS VS. MEDICAL 

The average earnings of a physician in the height of prosperity — 1928 
and 1929 — were less than those of skilled laborers. At that time, in the 
midst of boom and prosperity, over 6o^? of the populace requiring medical 
treatment in our larger cities were receiving it from hospitals and clinics 
gratis, or at a low figure per unit of service. During the years of depression, 
the persons receiving such services rose to almost ninety percent of the popu- 
lace of the country requiring medical aid. 

This does not mean that the cost of illness to the public is low. It is 
relatively high; but only a small fraction of it is paid to physicians. The 
bulk of the community's medical expenditures go into the purses of the 
social service rackets, large fractions to hospitals and nurses, and least to 
the doctors. 

The Welfare Council of New York City estimated in prosperous 1928 
that there were 40,000 paid workers engaged in social service work in New 
York. Their salaries amounted to approximately seventy-five million dollars. 


30 



/J1 of this money had been donated by charitable persons in the community 
for the care of the poor. 

If only half of this money that is diverted by social service workers into 
their pockets were used for the payment of physicians for the care of the 
ailing poor, the calibre of services given could be materially improved and 
doctors would receive about three thousand dollars a year for their work. 
Money expended in this manner would more truly serve the purpose for 
which the funds were donated than its present use. 

SERF PATHETIC 

The pathos of the plight of the medical profession is accentuated and set 
in comic relief by the obvious absurdity of its sense of helplessness. Phys- 
icians cannot be replaced overnight. Properly organized to protect their 
interests, the medical profession could command a fair treatment and an ade- 
quate wage from the community. 

But organized medicine has joined the social service rackets in betray- 
ing its ranks and has aided tile impoverishment and debasement of its own 
members. It has coerced the physician to aid in robbing himself of both 
his livelihood and of the respect of the community. So awed is the medical 
serf by the boss merchants that he does not dream of asserting himself and 
fighting for his existence; instead he slinks after treacherously corrupt 
"leaders/* 

The force by which he is held, is the growing power of organized med- 
icine and its control of hospitals and of medical licensure. The character 
of the licensing boards is indicated by the recent indictment in New York of 
an assistant attorney general who was assigned to collaborate with the 
Medical Board of Regents, on the charge of complicity in “fixing” for an 
abortion racket; and by the anxiety- caused death of his associate, an A. M. A. 
affiliated secretary of the Board, Dr. Harold Rypins, who was also accused, 

DISCIPLINE OF THE RACKET 

To incur the enmity of the American Medical Association or its local 
state or county society means to run the risk of loss of livelihood. Organized 
medicine figuratively grips the throat of every physician. 

To avoid deliberately and maliciously circulated slander on his compe- 
tence, the medical serf must toe the mark in the regime prescribed for him 
by medical bosses. As in any racket, to obey means “protection,” and failure 
to conform means to court disaster. 

Illustrative of the methods employed is my own experience. In 1931, I 
resigned from the N. Y. County Medical Society and the A. M. A. because 
I objected to racketeering of the organizations. Thereafter my scientific 
discoveries were barred from publication, rumors damaging to my reputation 
were circulated, scientific societies were urged to bar my participation in 
t eir proceedings, my works and I were libeled in publications of the A. M. A. 

replies were barred. In 1937, a colleague, Dr. Guersney Frey, attempted 
o ar my participation in a scientific discussion in a New York Academy of 
e icine meeting, on the ground that my resignation from the A. M. A. and 
ai ure to pay tribute and dues to it made me a physician “not in good stand- 


31 



Medical Society op the County op new York 

WO EAST ONE HUNtHLED AND THJRD STfcfiBT, NFW YO*K 



Prt)id*wt 

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m-wUfi 

HOw AID For, UD. 

Fku VtftJnjidni 
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Sfct+i+j 

9, WaHaC* Hamilton. HD. 

AifhUat ZtctiUrj 
PkAMCb N. MO 

Tpm*xp 

Kftlf Drain, M_D. 

Aitittml fpMifrai 
Gaoraa Bains, M T>, 


April 14, 


Emanuel U. Josophson, M.D. 
108 East 01 Street 
flew York City 


Dear Doctor Josephson: 

At a fleeting of the Coral ti a Minora 
held April 11, 1938, jour resignation as e member 
ms accepted as of January 2 , 1932- 

Yours very cordially 




bv.h 

/p 


B. WALLACE HAMILTON, M.D, 
Secretary 


BELATED ACCEPTANCE OF MY RESIGNATION FROM THE 
NEW YORK COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY 

The acknowledgment of my resignation from the New York County Medical Society is here reproduced 
to anticipate any false allegations that my expose of the organization is prompted by pique. Though 
rumors were long circulated that I had been ousted from the Society, it is clear from the letter that 
my resignation was tendered in 1932 and was not accepted until 1938, when 1 insistently demanded that 
it be done, One of my reasons for resigning was to he free to undertake this expose. As a member 
of the Society* I would have been barred from so doing, because the Society demands of its members 
that they submit their writings for censorship. In my letter of resignation I gave this and also my 
disgust with the racketeering of the Society as the icnson for my action. 

32 




ing.” The allegation was widely broadcast in an effort to injure my reputa- 
tion and practice by slander. 

In the attempt to subordinate science to medical politics, there shines 
forth the blind stupidity of the medical dim-wits. Their attitude resembles 
most closely that of the ostrich that seeks to avert danger by burying its 
head in the sand. 

How serious may be the consequences to a physician of disciplinary action 
of organized medicine is indicated by the case of Dr, W. W. Robinson. A 
court ordered the Spokane County Medical Society to pay him thirty thou- 
sand dollars for “slandering and humiliating him.” 

GROUP HEALTH ASSOCIATION INC. 

The Group Health Association Inc. and the Government’s indictment 
has brought to the attention of the nation some of the less vicious methods 
that the American Medical Association uses in enforcing its discipline and 
protecting the business of its bosses. This situation has arisen primarily out of 
the struggle between the organized social service and organized medicine for 
the control of the medical rackets. 

The indictment charges the American Medical Association, its local 
subsidiary and the Washington hospitals with conspiring to coerce and intimi- 
date doctors and consultants to refuse to serve the Group Health Association 
and to black-list and boycott doctors employed by it, with the object of pre- 
venting competition. 

In the following pages will be related activities of the A. M. A. which 
are far more vicious and dangerous to the public, which Assistant Attorney 
General Thurman Arnold refused to include in the indictment. These ac- 
tivities do not merely jeopardize the purses of the public and of the social 
service cliques, but menace the health and lives of the public. An indictment 
based on such charges would not have been dismissed by the courts. For many 
of them are quite clearly conspiracy in restraint of trade and designed to create 
monopolies. It is probable, however, that the courts will eventually sustain 
the indictment as it stands. 

BRITISH PRECEDENT 

The gangster tactics of the A. M. A. and its subsidiaries are true to the 
tradition of what the profession chooses to term “medical ethics.” That 
this “ethics” is a commercial code is revealed by the experience of Dr. Pratt 
with the British Medical Association, which is quoted in the “Brief of the 
U. S, on Demurrers in the case of U. S. A, vs. A. M. A. et al” as follows: 

“The British Medical Association was incorporated in 1874 'to pro- 
mote the medical and allied sciences and to maintain the honour and 
interests of the medical profession/ It is divided into geographical 
Divisions/ so-called, comparable to local medical societies in the United 
States affiliated with defendant American Medical Association, which 
are largely autonomous; one of these is the Coventry Division. In 
1904 the British Medical Association promulgated certain 'model rules' 
of ethics. Among other matters, these rules covered contract practice. 
Rule F provides that except in circumstances of great urgency, no mem- 


33 



her shall ‘meet in consultation, or hold any professional relations with’ 
a doctor declared by a division to have violated the rules of ethics. Rule 
Z provides that when a Division has found a given doctor’s conduct 
to be ‘detrimental to the honour and interests of the medical profession/ 
a notice so stating is to be sent to each member of the Division; and a 
similar notice may, when necessary, be forwarded to any other British 
Medical Association division. Coventry Division adopted these ‘model 
rules/ including the above provisions. 

“The Coventry Provident Dispensary was founded in the early part 
of the nineteenth century for the purpose of securing medical attendance 
for its members and their families. In 1906 the then medical staff 
protested that members whose incomes had grown beyond the maximum 
permitted for membership should be asked to resign ; the committee of 
management disagreed with this view; the medical staff contended that 
the management committee should be abolished and complete control of 
the society’s affairs should be given to the medical staff; when this was 
refused, the medical staff resigned in a body. Thereupon, the society 
sought a new staff. 

“In May 1907 it appointed Dr. Burke, one of the plaintiffs here. 
He was a licensed doctor; there was not and never had been any stigma 
on his professional career; he was a member of the Coventry Division 
of the British Medical Association. On May 26, he received a letter 
from the Chairman of the Coventry Division suggesting that if he 
joined the Dispensary staff, Rules F and Z would be invoked against 
him. He was not deterred, and in June began his work for the Dis- 
pensary. On June 20, the Coventry Division passed a resolution de- 
claring that by joining the Dispensary staff Dr, Burke had violated the 
rules of the Division. On July 20, Dr. Burke was notified of this 
action and was invited to explain his position. On July 29, he replied 
that he was satisfied with his position and would not change it. He 
was warned that on the single charge of joining the Dispensary staff 
he would be expelled from the Division. On August 28, the Coventry 
Division executive committee resolved to ostracize Dr. Burke. On 
September 3, the Coventry Division recommended to the British Med- 
ical Association that it should expel Dr. Burke for violation of the rules 
and for conduct detrimental to the honour and interest of the medical 
profession. On December 18, the British Medical Association general 
secretary cited Dr. Burke to appear and show cause why he should not 
be expelled. On February 13, 1908, he was expelled, on the grounds 
above stated. Thereupon, the Coventry Division circulated the notice 
prescribed by Rule Z, and gave similar notice to certain other nearby 
Divisions, Under Rule F, the effect of this notice was to make it a 
violation of the rules for any doctor to consult with Dr. Burke; no doc- 
tor could consult 

except at the risk of being expelled from the Association on a charge 

of having acted against the honour and interests of the medical pro- 
fession. [(1919) 1 K. B. at 251], 


34 



As a result of these occurrences, in the ten years that followed, Dr. 
Burke was unable to obtain the services of a single consultant, and his 
private practice was thereby greatly injured. Moreover, he and his 
family were treated as social and professional outcasts . Dr. Pratt and 
Dr. Holmes joined the Dispensary staff in 1913; they were similarly 
treated, with similar results. 

“Dr. Pratt, Dr. Holmes, and Dr, Burke, therefore, brought this 
action against the British Medical Association and against four local 
doctors who, from time to time, served as officials of the Coventry 
Division. The first cause of action asserted by plaintiffs was for con- 
spiracy. 

“Upon the foregoing facts, the court held that the defendants had 
instituted a cruel and unwarranted boycott of the plaintiffs ; that their 
actions constituted an unlawful restraint of trade, and accordingly, that 
plaintiffs should have judgment for substantial damages.” 

HARDSHIPS OF A MEDICAL LIFE 
The racketeering of organized medicine adds gratuitous complications 
to the already difficult life of the doctor. The life of the average physician 
is hard. It is filled with the added anxieties and cares thrust upon him by 
patients. He stands at the beck and call of a thousand masters, a servant 
of the public. He must serve on short notice, even though he is ill himself. 
He must go out at any time of the day or night into any weather — snow, 
sleet, or rain, cold or hot — when his patients demand. And even more 
trying is it to wait about his office until a patient calls. Though he actually 
starve, and many do starve today, the doctor must maintain an expensive 
show-front in the attempt to gain and retain the confidence of patients; for 
they often judge medical skill on the basis of their estimates of the size of the 
doctor’s bank account. 

The average physician little realizes when he chooses his calling that he 
has placed himself at the mercy of every member of the community. He dis- 
covers that the public do not trust a young physician, generally desert an 
old one, and often pay none. 

He is expected to risk his life, and his family’s, by exposure to dread 
contagious diseases, at the behest of any unknown beggar. When a man is 
crushed under a fallen wall or a collapsing tunnel in momentary danger of 
crashing, the doctor is expected to disregard danger and render first aid. 
The needlessly anxious nature of his vocation serves to shorten the doctor’s 
hie. Angina pectoris, a lethal heart disease that is precipitated by anxiety, 
is most widely prevalent among physicians. 

THE DOCTOR AND SOCIETY 
A physician’s obligations to society are eternally stressed. But society is 
ever less mindful of its obligations to the physician. There is probably no 
group in American society that has fallen to as low a level of disesteem and 
oppr° n um as j las average physician. This is in part deserved; but it 
fr ar ^ C ? t0 ma hgning of the rank and file by their professional con- 
ercs, t le osses of medicine, and to the millions of dollars of the public’s 


35 



money spent by the social service forces in the payment of such high priced 
publicity men as Edward Bernays for the deliberate purpose of discrediting 
the medical profession in its opposition to social service dominated “Social- 
ized” Medicine. In recent years the detractors have been joined by govern- 
mental officials and agencies allied with the social service rackets, who use the 
taxpayers’ money liberally in this anti -medical propaganda which they are 
waging for the profit of themselves and their commercial allies, and for the 
furtherance of Bismarxian, totalitarian doctrines. 

Society sustains great losses as a result of its ingratitude to the physician 
and of its toleration of the rackets that prey on him. It has caused in the 
profession a sinister cynicism bred of bitter experience. It has served to wipe 
out the more delicate nuances of service which spell the saving of health and 
lives. This is well illustrated by an overly embittered article by a young 
physician published anonymously in the June 1932 issue of The Forum maga- 
zine entitled “A Doctors Advice To His Critics:” 

“One familiar delusion is to the effect that doctors are animated by 
an old saying, to wit, 'the relief of suffering humanity shall be thine 
only aim.* This is a piece of poppycock that is not true and never was 
true. The cold fact is that most doctors practice medicine for pre- 
cisely and exactly the same reason that lawyers practice law, or editors 
edit, or plumbers plumb, or laborers labor — namely, to make a living. 
If they get some pleasure out of it and do some good, then so much the 
better, but that is not the prime purpose. 

“I hate to destroy such nice delusions, but I believe that the truth 
is better and that more progress can be made by adhering to it. In all 
my experience I do not recall one single doctor who cared anything 
special about suffering humanity, certainly not enough to work himself 
up into a lather about it. He bad enough troubles of his own; indeed 
all too often he had been so bedeviled and imposed on and swindled 
by this same poor dear humanity that he bated it. 

“It may be deplorable, but it is a fact that this thing we call civiliza- 
tion, or this present state of human affairs, is just simply not organized 
along the lines of brotherly love. For all the boloney to the contrary, 
it is founded largely on the ethics of the jungle, and it is the persistence 
of this jungle ethics in a highly complicated and interdependent society 
that has finally plunged us into the morass in which we are now stuck. 
Doctors are merely in the same milieu that everybody else is. We are 
all tarred out of the same bucket — the critics no less than the rest. 
Doctors find out, as all men do, that they get what they take. This 
leads to dishonesty, sharp practice, swinishness. I can only report that 
doctors as a rule are as honest as circumstances will allow them to be. I 
do not care to speak further than that for them. 

“But I can speak for myself. Here at least I will pass no buck; I 
will evade no issue. It all boils down to this: a man catapulted into 
this life and given time to get oriented and look about a bit can do one 
of two things — he can take it or leave it. I prefer to take it. Very 
well, then, what do I find? I find that this is a hard and a harsh world. 


36 



I find that my living depends entirely on my own efforts, I find that 1 
could sweat out my life in honest and conscientious medical service to 
the public for nothing save a bare existence and finally come to sixty- 
five or seventy a broken and penniless man, I find that in exchange 

for this they would, if I had enough political pull, give me a cot in a 

poorhouse, some rags, enough food to keep me alive, and the menial 
job of scrubbing the floors. 

“Now I prefer not to stand in breadlines nor to sleep in flophouses. 
I must, therefore, get money in some way or other and endeavor to 
keep it. It has been amply demonstrated that this latter task is per- 
haps even harder than the first; I have no assurance that what I have 
now will be with me next year or even next week. The method I have 
chosen by which to do this is practicing medicine. I went through high 
school; I spent five years in a university, four years in a medical school, 
two years as a hospital intern — fifteen years in all. I not only made 
little or nothing during this time but I spent a great deal; in fact, all 
I had ever been able to make at other times. In addition to that I put 
a lien in the form of debts on what I was to make after I finally went 
to work. Now that I am at work, I will get that needed money abso- 
lutely honestly if I can. If I cannot, then I will get it dishonestly. 

There, then, you have it — in cold type and with no evasion. If this 

is being a thug, then I am a thug. And that is that. If you are inter- 
ested to know what has been my experience, I will say that the word 
honesty in medicine is a very elastic term. . , .” 

Fortunately this young man’s fierce bitterness does not represent the 
attitude of the rank and file of the profession, who lack capacity for energetic 
reaction. Their attitude is one of stunned and apathetic impotence and be- 
fuddled frustration that may paralyze but does not destroy humanitarian 
sympathies. 

SOCIETY’S OBLIGATION TO THE DOCTOR 

The situation in medicine, however, does mean a tremendous waste of 
ability and energy which could serve, under better conditions, to spare man- 
kind much misery. Society could render itself a real service by fighting the 
battle of the medical serf and destroying the medical and social service 
rackets. 

Society should establish a fair condition of work and standards of wage 
for the doctor. It should relieve him of carrying the entire burden of char- 
itable medkal care in the community and should establish on a permanent 
basis adequate payment of the doctor for those services. 

For callous indifference of Society to the plight of the physician is cer- 
tain to breed eventually an ugly reaction on the part of the profession. If 
the public wishes to be tended with kindness and mercy by the profession, 
it must extend to it the same treatment. It is wrong that in return for acts 
0 c arity and mercy, in which he oft risks his life, the veteran of medicine 
receives no beneficence or benevolence. 

Ui5 the physician is not protected by compensation or security plans 


37 



when injured or disabled in line of duty. If the doctor who is summoned to 
treat a case of typhoid fever succumbs to the disease, or if the tunnel into 
which he crawls to succor an injured man collapses, the consequences are 
his own lookout or funeral. 

PENSIONS FOR PHYSICIANS 

A pension fund for physicians that would enable them to spend their old 
age in comfort is richly deserved by most members of the profession. It is 
a notorious fact that few of them reach the age of sixty with any reserves 
or savings. The more wholeheartedly a physician has devoted himself to 
the welfare of the community, the less apt he is to have provided for himself, 
and the more apt he is to spend his declining days in destitution. Thus 
New York newspapers announced in January 193b, that Dr. Albert Harrison 
Brundagc, a veteran public health officer, lecturer and authority, was dis- 
possessed from his home and cast out to die penniless and destitute. 

A pension fund that would give the medical profession a belated reward 
for the great sacrifices that are demanded of it in the care of the poor, easily 
could be arranged if its merchant “leaders” and the social service forces did 
not block the way. The motives which prompt the latter are the fear of 
diversion of philanthropic funds and bequests from their own purses, and 
their strategy of maintaining a tradition of antagonism between the public and 
the medical profession. 

In addition to the bequests and contributions of the philanthropicaily in- 
clined members of the community there are a number of legitimate sources 
for pension funds for physicians. Drug manufacturers, for instance, might 
well contribute to such pension funds a small percentage of the wealth and 
income which they derive from medical research and discovery and from the 
business which the medical profession has given them. 

I have made an effort to establish such a pension fund for physicians. 
But I have met with no success in securing support for it because of opposition 
by the medical and social service rackets. 

SAD VICTIMS OF ORGANIZED MEDICINE 

The rank and file member of the American Medical Association, the medi- 
cal serf, can be ranked as one of its most stupidly pathetic victims. The As- 
sociation and its activities have brought him to his present wretched status. 

With regularity, the position taken by the A. M. A. on public questions 
has been the very reverse of that of the majority of its members. By medical- 
social-service press censorship and a sham “code of ethics” they are prevented 
from escaping from the false position in which they have been placed. 

To free itself of the racketeering domination of medical and social 
service organizations, and to redeem itself and regain public- and self-esteem, 
the profession must first awaken to realize and acknowledge the rot which 
has pervaded it. Drastically the profession must purge itself; and it must 
adopt ideals of service that are compatible with honesty and decency. 

Then if it accepts honest, intelligent and intrepid leadership in place of 


38 



crooked political bosses and their ward heelers, develops an esprit de corps 
that will enable the adoption of a program based on principle instead of greed 
an d cupidity, and wage war without compromise on the unscrupulous enemies 
0 f society within its ranks and in the community, any fair request that it makes 
on the community must be met But can this be realized? 


3 $ 



CHAPTER IIL 

THE MEDICAL PUBLICITY RACKET 

Advertising and publicity are the life-blood of medical practice, as of any 
other enterprise in a large community. For they are the only ways that 
the public who need medical care can become cognizant of the physician who 
wishes to render it. 

In a small community, word of mouth advertising suffices. But in 
larger communities where the individual is as lost as a needle in a haystack, 
other methods arc required. The doctors who are denied their use can be 
stifled and destroyed. It is for the purpose of destroying competition that the 
bosses and overlords of the Eastern States have tabooed advertising for 
every one except themselves by their hypocritiCj commercial “code of ethics ” 

No man was in a better position than “Doc” Simmons to realize the 
vital importance of advertising in medicine. He had gained his fortune and 
position through lurid and fraudulent quack medical advertising. A mon- 
opolistic control of all methods of advertising and publicity in medicine as 
a source of revenue and as a device for the control of the profession, and of 
politics, was almost instinctive with Simmons. No effort was spared by 
him or his gang to attain it. 

Like Simmons, Fishbein is acutely conscious of the value of publicity. In 
his Fads and Quackery in Healing he tells of noted surgeons who owed their 
practises to persistent publicity He concludes: 

<T A great clinic , if properly organized , must have its publicity depart- 
ment” 

METHODS OF MEDICAL ADVERTISING 
There are a number of indirect and underhanded methods of advertising 
and publicity that are permissible to the physician even in sections which 
taboo direct advertising. They are especially valuable if they are exclusive; 
and where competition is keen, when they cast aspersions on competitors. 

Direct word of mouth publicity and recommendation are very effective 
in building up a practice. Some physicians have highly developed this method. 
They hire boosters and widen their social contacts by joining any and every 
organization that will serve the purpose. 

An amusing variation of this method was employed by a New York East 
Sider when he launched himself into practice. He hired unemployed actors 
and attractive actresses to ride up to his office in swank cars and sit in his 
waiting room for hours in order to make neighbors believe that his services 
were in demand by their betters. The ruse succeeded in building for him a 
large and lucrative practise 

Affiliations with social service groups are particularly valuable business- 
getters, especially if the organizations maintain clinics. They solicit inquiries 


4a 



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Samples 0 f cards that arc *iv*n to clinic patients of New York City to advertise their doctors The two 
a vr> CRrds leave no margin for error, but carry both the names and addresses of the doctors This is 
offrrU 8U 4>k ri0r a ^ d concentrated form of advertising directly to persons who urgently require the services 
bv *£. 1 « E / a dv«riisetnenu must be preserved by the patients if they wish to avoid the penalty imposed 

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-*ru a mo Unt t0 straightforward orders to the patients 

The doch^^f 01 ^ P rivatc osiers if you want adequate services and if you Can afford to pay Our fees ” 

90 thnt the 0f t lT15t ' tutl0t *3 establish their offices in the immediate neighlrarhcod of the clinics. 

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" lt iHAU a ND HYPOCR1SV OF “MEDICAL ETHICS" 




from the public; and direct the inquirers to their affiliated physicians. They 
also get extensive free advertising and publicity which nets patients. 

Hospitals and clinics are the most effective and the most eagerly sought 
methods of advertising a physician. They are obvious advertisements that 
lure the patients. Their value is enhanced when they have large and rich 
boards of directors and subscribing memberships. Their value is superlative 
when they refer inquiring patients to the doctors who monopolize their 
facilities. And to physicians who gain control of services and the power of 
appointment of subordinate physicians they are veritable gold mines ; for they 
make it possible to force colleagues who seek the hospital facilities for their 
patients to consult the “chief’ and refer cases. The advertising value of 
hospitals is often enhanced by clever work of publicity men, as in the case 
of the Eye Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and the 
King of Siam. 

Medical Information Bureaus, such as that of the New York Academy 
of Medicine, are organized by influential physicians to solicit public inquiries 
about doctors and medical topics. The inquirers are directed to the offices of 
the sponsoring physicians. They are effective in building up the reputations 
and high-priced practices of the sponsors, and in slandering and destroying 
the reputations of competitors. In the latter they are generally cautious and 
only dole out their slander in the absence of witnesses, to avoid legal en- 
tanglements. 

Popular lectures and publications are a direct form of contact with the 
public. Columns and signed articles in the lay press and popular books are 
more effective than lectures and radio talks. 

Scientific lectures and publication are publicity to colleagues who may 
refer cases. Their value is greatly enhanced when they are made the basis 
of popular publicity reports in the lay press. Medical discovery is a justi- 
fiable but rare basis for these forms of publicity. 

Control of institutions of medical education and professorships and 
teaching positions in them are forms of advertisement that often net high 
returns in consultations and in repute gained. These consequently are avidly 
sought, even when they carry no direct emolument. 

When Simmons and his A. M. A. gang undertook to gain complete and 
monopolistic control of all these forms of advertising and publicity to insure 
greatest profits by elimination of competition, they met with the resistance 
of some powerfully entrenched groups. With these they compromised when- 
ever it was found advantageous to do so. 

JOURNAL OF THE A. M. A.— THE PAYOFF 

Control of several phases of publicity and advertising was gained by ex- 
pansion of the publication activities of the A. M. A. and by the elimination 
of competing publications. The weaker journals were destroyed and the 
strong ones were merged. Publishers have been barred, for instance, from 
advertising or displaying their magazines competing with A. M. A. journals 
in their exhibits at A. M. A. conventions. 

The methods which Simmons and his crew used in their battle for a 


42 



monopoly of medical publication and of advertising to the profession were 
often crude and illegitimate. In any other business their use would have pre- 
cipitated prosecution by law enforcement authorities; but medicine is re- 
garded by the layman with unholy awe, as a mystery beyond his ken. 

Pressure was brought to bear on non -members by all the powers and 
agencies which the Association controlled, to force them to join. If they 
refused they were slandered, libelled and their reputations undermined. 
Fishbein, like Simmons, has left himself free to use these tactics by trans- 
ferring his property to his wife and maintaining himself judgment-proof. 
Non-members usually are barred from publication in the A. M. A. journals. 

Members of the Association were forced to subscribe to the Journal of 
the A. M. A. or to some of its other publications, at a high annual cost that 
yielded a splendid profit. If they wrote for competing publications, they were 
threatened with expulsion; but if they sent their articles to the Journal, they 
■were generally refused publication. For it never has been medical im- 
portance of the article that determines its publication, so much as the political 
rank of the contributor. Discovery and publication are regarded by the 
clique solely in the light of its advertising and commercial advantage. And 
hi-jacking of a discovery, or its suppression and conversion into the secret 
private remedy of a clique, on the pretext of a “clinical trial,” is common- 
place. Rarely does a medical discovery receive publication in the Journal 
of the A. M. A. before it is antique. 

Advertisers are similarly treated by the A, M. A. gang. Their products 
may not be advertised in any journal owned or influenced by the A. M. A, 
unless “accepted.” Since this group includes most of the important popular 
magazines, the rejected product may be virtually barred from the market. 
Products do not remain “accepted” unless the sponsors are prepared to spend 
considerable money on advertising in the group of medical journals owned 
or controlled by the A. M. A. This prescribed group and the expense of 
advertising in it, have grown considerably since the organization of the Co- 
Operative Medical Advertising Bureau, which represents a large number 
of State Medical Society journals. Firms that reduce their advertising or refuse 
to advertise as much as required, find the “acceptance” of their products with- 
drawn. The A. M. A. has openly threatened firms that advertise in media 
other than its own journals with withdrawal of “acceptance” of their products. 
That such a conspiracy in restraint of trade and its potentialities for extortion 
should be permitted to exist, is unprecedented in our legal annals. But it is 
all done sanctimoniously under the cloak of “protecting the public.” 

DEPRESSION PROFITS 

When the depression came along, and profits and revenue of the A. M, A, 
journals were threatened, the group was in excellent position to protect and 
to enhance its profits. There was no danger of loss of advertising accounts. 

The cost of production of the Journal of the A. M. A. dropped and 
the h™!^’ r ° Se ? ro P° rtioriateI y» But the subscription price exacted from 

ar }* Physicians for the Journal was raised from five to eight dollars 
a. year .l , , ° 

ne same time the Association made an attack on some enter- 


43 



prising publications which were launched as advertising promotions and 
distributed reliable news of medical advance to the profession free of any 
charge. Editorially Fishbein thundered “Beware of the Greeks bearing 
gifts.” But the A, M. A. subscriptions fell, and the free publications were 
the only means of keeping abreast of medical advance for a large proportion 
of the profession. 

When the State Medical Societies and the A. M. A, gained control of 
distribution of Relief to the medical profession, they were in position to 
coerce back on their membership and subscription list the physicians who 
required Relief- They were generally led to believe that they must — or 
else 

Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the Journal of the 
A. M. A- was one of the most profitable magazines in the country in the 
midst of depression, despite the oft crushing poverty of its readers. In 1938, 
the Journal reported a gross earning of $1,650,000 and a net profit of 
$670,000; and its surplus was almost four million dollars. 

If the A. M. A- and its Journal really belonged to its members, instead 
of a ruling clique, it might undertake to fulfill the pretended function of the 
Association, to broadcast knowledge of medical advance to the entire profes- 
sion. It would then find that by distributing the Journal gratis to the entire 
profession, instead of making it a means of extortion, the advertising revenue 
that would be derived from the larger circulation would yield even larger 
profits- But the gang in control act on the idea “You spoil the sucker if 
you give him a break.” 

ADVERTISING AND “ETHICS” 

To muzzle the rank and file of the profession and to give the bosses of 
organized medicine a monopoly of medical business and of advertising and 
publicity, the A. M. A. designed its “code of ethics.” This code made it a 
violation to speak or write for publication without the permission, censor- 
ship and approval of the bosses and overlords. Whatever the latter might 
do on their own initiative, however, was designated as “ethical.” The 
principle underlying the code is: “The king can do no wrong,” 

The dual character of this commercialist “code of ethics” and the man- 
ner in which it boosts the business of the merchants-in-medicine who boss 
the Association is evident in the most recent decree regarding medical ad- 
vertising and publicity which was published in an editorial in the New York 
State Journal of Medicine of August 15, 1929 (pp. 1021 to 1022). It 
reads: 

“Medical publicity is that which is educational and deals with the 
medical profession in its entirety. 

“Medical advertising appertains to medical publicity which deals with 
the individual and may be used to his or her personal advantage.” 

Regarding publicity, it proceeds to say: 

“Physicians throughout the nation have evolved a standard method 
of popular education as follows : 

“l. The unit should be the County Medical Society. 


44 



u 2. Medical education work shall be done by committees composed of 
physicians who are specialists as writers, speakers, organizers and 
general medical leaders. 

“ 3 . The names of these specialists should be kept prominently before 
the public in order that popular education may be a concrete, present 
reality, instead of a far-off abstraction for which no one is re- 
sponsible.” 

The gist of this “standard method” is that the “medical leaders” or 
bosses authorize themselves exclusively to keep their names prominently before 
the public in the press, the radio and in all other avenues of publication. 
This hypocrisy of the medical boss in his own traffic is characteristic of the 
clan. 

The grumbling acceptance of these hypocritical dicta by the rank and 
file of the profession illustrates aptly their lack of spirit and degeneration. 
They do not dare attack their bosses when they belie the proverb “What is 
sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” however strong may be their 
resentment. But if one of their own number receives the barest publicity 
mention merited by significant discovery, ferocious jealousy is aroused and 
his reputation suffers. Prominent in the ranks of the slanderers will be found 
the self-advertising, self-publicizing “leaders” themselves; they jealously 
guard the privilege which dishonestly they have usurped. 

In the West, where a certain measure of straightforwardness still per- 
sists in medical organizations, the hypocrltic “ethics” regarding advertising 
does not apply. Anyone may advertise in the newspapers. Even in the 
East, the New York State Medical Society permits foreign-born physicians 
to advertise in the foreign language press, because “leaders” do not compete 
for the poorly-paid practice among the foreign element and their commercial 
interests are not impaired. 

How well advertising has served to build up the reputation and business 
of “leaders” of higher calibre than “Doc” Simmons is illustrated by the Mayo 
Brothers. When they arrived at Rochester, before either of them had had 
any experience worth mentioning, they caused to be distributed handbills 
which modestly stated that they were the leading and ablest surgeons in the 
country. They were master hands at self advertisement; and fortunately 
their ability caught up with their advertising. 

TRUESDALE AND THE “UP-SIDE-DOWN STOMACH” 

The selectivity of the publicity accorded to the bosses of medicine is 
illustrated in the case of the Trues dale Hospital, the medical director of 
which is Dr. Philemon E. Truesdale, who stands high in the circles of the 
A. M, A. and the American College of Surgeons. The business of the hos- 
pital suffered during the depression. That was not regarded as “ethical.” 
Consequently, with no protest from the American College of Surgeons, a 
world-wide newspaper publicity campaign was launched in the press, center- 
ing upon a child who suffered from a not-uncommon ailment, diaphragmatic 
ler ™ a ’ w ^ich is popularly described as “upside-down stomach.” 

I here was nothing new or extraordinary about the operation performed 


45 



on the child to correct the hernia. The only special phase of the case was 
the boost to the business of the hospital and its politically influential surgeon. 
The executive officer of the Medical Information Bureau of the New York 
Academy of Medicine, Dr. Galdston (ne Goldstein), himself acted as pub- 
licity and advertising agent for the hospital and surgeon, and scooped the 
press with detailed accounts of the operation and of all the incidental pub- 
licity manoeuvres. It is not known whether, or how much, the publicity 
agent was paid for this business-getting stunt 

“LEADERS” AND “ETHICAL” PUBLICITY 

Another striking example is Dr. K S ,a prominent 

medical politician who has succeeded in making politics serve him to carve 
out a spurious reputation as a scientist. He is a member of a censorship 
committee. At an annual convention he was introduced by Morris Fishbein 
to one of the members of the Science Writers’ Association, with an urgent 
appeal that he be given a write-up. In the interview, he pronounced himself 
to be the greatest man in his field and falsely laid claim to the discovery of 
a condition which had been brought to light a century prior and had been 
the object of research and discovery of numerous investigators itl the inter- 
vening period. The interview published was an accurate report of the state- 
ments of this “scientist.” 

Immediately after the publication of this interview, the editor in ques- 
tion was besieged by the censor of the Academy of Medicine, on the publicity 
committee of which this “scientist” was the moving spirit, with the object of 
inducing him to furnish the interviewed “authority” with a written statement 
falsely asserting that the interview had not taken place. The reason for the 
request was that the “scientist” had been assailed and ridiculed by the mem- 
bers of his organization and his political influence endangered. The editor 
furnished the requested statement. 

MEDICAL “LEADER” AND “ETHICAL” TESTIMONIALS 

A glaring instance of the vicious duplicity of the ethics of medical ad- 
vertising is the case of Dr. William Allen Pusey, former president of the 
American Medical Association and editor of one of its magazines. Dr. 
Pusey entered into direct competition with the testimonial business of the 
American Medical Association and its Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, 
by selling to Proctor and Gamble, manufacturers of soap, his personal testi- 
monial for Camay Soap. In this testimonial, which appeared in numerous 
magazines throughout the country as the backbone of an intensive advertising 
campaign, Dr. Pusey certified that “Camay Soap is much more than the 
best soap for your complexion.” This statement was obviously false for 
some of the readers of the advertisement, for dry skins should have different 
soaps than oily skins. 

In spite of the obvious falsity of the testimonial, these advertisements 
evoked not the slightest protest from the Association or from its timid vassals, 
the rank and file of the profession. The only rebuke administered to Dr. 
Pusey w r as one which I sarcastically interposed in a discussion of remarks 


46 



made by him before the New York County Medical Society. He did not 
undertake to reply, 

MEDICAL SERF AND “UNETHICAL” TESTIMONIALS 

In sharp contrast with the case of Dr, William Allen Pusey’s testimonial 
was that of Dr. Shirley Wynne, Commissioner of Health of New York 
City. Dr. Wynne, at about the same time, expressed his approval of dental 
hygiene for quotation in an advertisement of a dental cream. However 
prominent he was in civic politics, Commissioner Wynne did not rank as a 
medical politician and was not among the local hierarchy of the Association. 
Though his testimonial was truthful and honest, and thoroughly justifiable, 
in contrast with the above-mentioned, like a pack a jackals the New York 
County Medical Society who had quavered before the more puissant Pusey, 
preferred charges against Dr. Wynne for his testimonial and forced him to 
resign from its membership to avoid further annoyance in the matter. 

The moral of the story is obvious: “Testimonials are ‘unethical’ unless 

payment for them is made to the American Medical Association or its officers.” 
The dishonesty and insincerity of the Association in this matter assume the 
proportions of a farce. 

MULTIPLICATION OF SOCIETIES AN ADVERTISING DEVICE 

For the primary purpose of intensifying and multiplying the opportunities 
of self publicity and advertising, medical “leaders” have organized a multi- 
tude of new national and specialty associations. An excellent illustration is 
the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, It is dom- 
inated by the same clique that controls the corresponding sections of the 
American Medical Association and of the American Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, and also the two dozen or more societies in this field, 
who peddle the same trite papers and exhibits from one to the other, often 
without altering a comma. The presentation of papers is limited to the 
clique year after year; and it is doubtful if one of them has had a new idea 
in decades. The principal purposes of the organization and its officers is to 
drum up business among physicians from small towns and backwoods for 
themselves and their post-graduate teaching businesses; and above all else, 
to secure for themselves publicity build-ups in the lay press. 

Publicity is divided among the clique on a pre-arranged basis. Before 
the bosses of the organization would consent to hold its annual meeting in 
New York City, in 1936, the New York members were forced to agree that 
they would not “hog the publicity,” i. e., that they would stay in the back- 
ground and permit the clique spielers from the hinterland to cover them- 
selves with publicity and glory. 

How crude are the publicity methods of this Academy can be appreciated 
y the study of the plan whereby the doctors from the sticks and backwoods, 
and the subordinate “junior members” are compelled to pay for the ad- 
vertising and publicizing of the clique by the purchase of tickets to lecture 
courses the contents of which can be found in any of the older textbooks. 


47 



Even the annual dinners are conceived as the crudest forms of advertising 
for the clique bosses- This is illustrated by the following “theme song” of the 
Boston Convention of the Academy in 1933: 

“ALL ARE WET! 

(Sung to the tune of "Alauette," in honor of Past President McKee 
of Montreal, at 4:00 A.M. on Mount Royal.) 

All are wet, oh, very, very wet! oh, 

All are wet, oh, see them all at play! 

Have a drink with Burt Shurly!! 

Have a drink with Burt Shurly I 
Have a drink with Han McKee! 

Have a drink with Han McKee! 

Here's a toast to Mosher, too! 

Here’s a toast to Mosher, too ! 

Wilder doesn't mind a few! 

Wilder doesn't mind a few! 

Put no booze at Barnhill's plate! 

Put no booze at Barnhill's plate! 

Don't let Greenwood's drink be late! 

Don't let Greenwood's drink be late! 

Secord Large laps up the dough ! 

Secord Large laps up the dough ! 

Beer for Beckl he loves it so! 

Beer for Beck! he loves it so! 

Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice) 

Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice) 
Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) 

Oh McKee! 

Oh McKee! 

All are wet! Oh! 

All are wet! Oh! 

Barnhill, no! (twice) Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice) 

Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice) 

All are wetl Oh ! 

All are wet ! Oh ! 

Greenwood yes! (twice) Barnhill, no! (twice) Wilder, few! (twice) 
Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice) 

All are wet ! Oh ! 

All are wet ! Oh ! 

Large lies low ! (twice) Greenwood yes! (twice) Barnhill no! (twice) 
Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) 

Oh, McKee! (twice) 

All are wet! Ah! 

All are wet! Ah! 

Those named are former presidents and bosses of the Academy. 

48 



The presentation of papers on medical discoveries by the rank and file 
membership of the Academy is rigidly barred. It would detract from the 
hyperintensive advertisement of the dominant clique. 

In the decade since the first edition of this volume was first published, the 
monopoly of medical publication, and of the advertising and publicity which 
it implies, has become so intensified as to be absolute. It rivals the “thought 
control 11 of other dictatorships, and has reached the point that Waldemar 
Kaempffert reported from the Chicago convention of the AjM A., in the 
New York Times of June 27, 1948, as follows: 

“As for the scores of papers that were read, they told the specialists 
Utile they did not already know . . . Probably most of the physicians and 
surgeons in attendance learned more from the manufacturers' exhibits 
on Navy Pier than from the papers that were presented.” 

This report is an expression of the airtight censorship on medical discovery 
emanating from the rank and file of the profession and the suppression of 
medical advance. The same state has been brought about by medical politi- 
cians and merchants in every scientific organization. They have brought all 
of them under their control, including the medical section of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, They have completely suppressed 
the presentation of any original advances in medical science and have limited 
programs to so-called “symposia” which are nothing more than rehashes of 
older textbooks that are generally prepared by “ghosts” for the self advertise- 
ment of medical Babbitts. 

In an effort to remedy this situation, the author launched the Science 
Bulletin prior to the War. He was forced to discontinue it because of lack 
of paper. Plans are under way to resume the publication for the purpose of 
giving discoverers a medium for publication to establish priority of discover,'' 
and stop the systematic theft of ideas and discoveries. 


49 



CHAPTER IV. 

NEW STYLES IN QUACKERY 

FISHBEIN'S "MODERN HOME MEDICAL ADVISER*' 

J?ar less ASTUTE than his quack patron and master, George H. Simmons, 
wise-cracking Morris Fishbein, heir to the throne and power of the 
A. M. A., has permitted his quest for the dollar to lead him to jeopardize his 
position and to display unbelievable sciolism and lack of discretion. Endowed 
with the natural impulses of a "cloak and suiter,” his special talents always 
have been in the direction of a sort of high-pressure salesmanship that mani- 
fested itself even during his student days. Since then such model citizens as 
Moe Annenberg and Unioneer Scalisc have furnished inspiration. 

For a long time Fishbein has directed his efforts toward securing for him- 
self a lucrative monopoly of medical publication in the lay press. The busi- 
ness code that goes by the name of “medical ethics” made such a monopoly a 
simple matter. It barred other members of the Association from writing 
for the lay press without its, i. e. Fishbein’s, express permission. Fishbein 
muzzled the profession. And he, his brother and a few others were able 
to collect handsomely for exclusive medical publication in the lay press. 
Among his other activities, he has been medical editor of Look and of the 
Newspaper Enterprise Association. With his brother, be also wrote a column 
for the now extinct Delineator ♦ 

Starting with the offer to censor and edit medical articles for the maga- 
zines and periodicals, he developed the habit of suppressing the literary 
products of others and replacing them with his own masterpieces, for which 
he was duly paid. In time there was scarcely a magazine or periodical that 
was not graced with samples of Fishbein ’s highly-priced omniscience. 

In the Scripps Howard and other publications subscribing to the N. E, A. 
appeared syndicated columns of medical wisdom by Dr. Morris Fishbein. 
At the foot of these columns was published a note suggesting that the reader 
cut out the article, paste it in a scrap book, and thus become bis own doctor, 
after the true A. M. A. standards of “Doc” Simmons et al. In one column 
appeared Fishbein’s recommendation of the use, as a “harmless** reducing 
drug, of dinitrophenol which caused many cases of blindness and deaths. 

Fishbein’s larger contributions were originally confined to volumes on 
rf Quacks and Frauds' ' Naturally none of the quackery and frauds in which 
the A. M. A. engaged were ever attacked in these volumes. The situation 
reminds one of the pot which calls the kettle black. 

“MODERN HOME MEDICAL ADVISER” 

The lucrative literary business of Fishbein, however, culminated in the 
publication of the “Modern Home Medical Adviser.” This volume was 
falsely, quackishly and sensationally advertised in full-page spreads in the 


SO 



newspapers- It was represented on the cover advertisements as an epitome 
of medical widom and omniscience directly derived from the oracle of med- 
icine, the great Fishbein, in the following words: 

“The Modern Home Medical Adviser is a book of hope and promise 
for suffering millions and a safeguard ... of knowledge for all who 
value continued good health above everything else- Under the able 
editorship of Morris Fishbein, M.D., former president of the American 
Medical Association and Editor-in-Chief of its Journal in whose pages 
the new and vital discoveries of medical science are given first notice, 
twenty-four eminent specialists cover the whole field of medicine and 
surgery in a language that anyone can understand. - , . 

“The sum total of everything medical science has learned - . - is given 
authoritative treatment. 

“No modern home should be without this important book. For the 
peace of mind it will give and the sense of security that comes of being 
prepared in time of need, this book is worth a thousand times its 
price- . * . 

“Forearm yourself with the knowledge and experience of the highest- 
paid medical men of our day and you will own the best insurance of 
abundant health and long life that money can buy.” 

QUACK NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING 

The newspaper advertisements read as follows: 

“Edited by Morris Fishbein, M.D. 

“ Famous spokesmen {or the Medical World written by 24 of America s 
Best Doctors . 

“Regardless of what health questions may now perplex you — regard- 
less of what emergency you may face in the future — this huge Modern 
Home Medical Adviser gives you the valuable advice you MUST have 
to safeguard yourself and your family. 

“What a priceless comfort and help it will be to have in your home 
at all times the most reliable Home Doctor Book ever compiled . - . 
The book that will enable you to tell whether you need a doctor and 
what simple home remedies to follow till he comes 

“Think of having the priceless advice of 24 of America's most eminent 
physicians and surgeons at your service at all times — showing you how 
to avoid pain, suffering, worry— placing at your instant command their 
vast store of sound medical knowledge and crystal-clear health guidance. 

“Two hundred leading physicians quoted as authorities. 

“Endorsed by doctors everywhere. 

“The Wealthiest Millionaire Could Not Buy Better Health Guid- 
ance.” 

The italicized section means that the volume is represented as making 
eac h and every reader a diagnostician capable of judging the import of his 
symptoms ^nd enough of a physician to indulge in self-treatment. Self 
medicaaon, which is so justly and vigorously condemned by all intelligent 


51 



persons, becomes laudable when stimulated by boss medical merchants — 
Dr. Morris Fishbein and twenty-four of “America’s Best Doctors.” 

One can easily picture, as the advertisements are read, the carnival 
patent medicine show barker. He could do no better. These false and 
quackish advertisements are not only ill-advised and misleading. They are 
absolutely fraudulent. They represent the acme of the quackfshness intro- 
duced into the A. M, A. by “Doc” Simmons. They constitute one of the 
finest modern samples of quack advertising and publicity indulged in by the 
unscrupulous bosses of organized medicine with the sanction of its dual and 
perverted “ethics,” Charges of false and misleading advertising were filed 
with the Federal Trade Commission. Later advertising was changed. 

If the balance of the medical profession resorted to such medicine show 
advertising and rose to such heights of quackery as characterizes their bosses, 
they also might succeed in levying as high a toll on public credulity as do 
these “highest paid medical men of our day.” This advertising is excep- 
tional in that it clearly states the ideals of its subjects. 

FALSE AND DANGEROUS ADVICE 

The volume is replete with advice that is sometimes absurdly wrong and 
is sometimes dangerously false. Skimming through the volume, a few of the 
false passages were culled for citation. 

On page 718, the “authorities” state: 

“Sometimes the pain (of earache) may be relieved In the early stages 
by dropping into the ear some warm eardrops, usually composed of 
glycerine with a small percent of phenol.” 

Few intelligent physicians fail to realize how fruitless and dangerous is 
the use of these drops in the ear. They cause a congestion of the eardrum 
which may serve to aggravate the inflammation present. If there is no in- 
flammation present at the start these drops may induce inflammation and 
reduce the resistance of the tissues. The congestion caused by the drops 
serves to deceive and confuse the physician regarding the status of the ear, and 
therefore often results in needless surgery. Any competent physician knows 
enough to condemn the practice recommended to the public by these merchant 
“authorities.” 

On the same page, Fishbein and his “authorities” cast to the swine public 
a gem of wisdom: they recommend incision of the eardrum for relief of 
mastoiditis. Persons who know anything about the subject realize that by 
the time relief is sought for mastoiditis the eardrum generally has been in- 
cised or destroyed; that incision of the eardrum merely drains the middle 
ear and does not suffice to drain the mastoid abscess. But medical “author- 
ities” need not know' the elements of medicine; politics alone serves to carve 
out career and reputation. 

On page 31 3, Fishbein sings the praises of oily nose drops with un- 
paralleled wisdom: 

“For years camphor-menthol solutions and preparations of oil, cam- 
phor, menthol and eucalyptol have been used to give relief in nasal 


52 



irritation. Tne actual worth of such preparations in curing the cold 
is doubtful. Their value in securing comfort is considerable.” 

One of the most significant “comforts” of such oily preparations, espe- 
cially in infants, has been widely publicized by the Health Commissioner of 
New York City, Dr. John L. Rice, who pretends to be no authority on the 
diseases of the nose. He warned the public of the fact that every practitioner 
knows — that such mineral oil preparations may cause lung abscesses and seri- 
ous disease. But Morris Fishbein — eminent specialist in disease of men, 
women and children, in diseases of eye and toes, ears and anus, mind and 
bladder — in his profound wisdom does not sanction such consequences of 
“comforting oily nose drops,” Fishbein entertains a high opinion of things 
“oily,” and our infants will have to regard the lung abscesses given them on 
his advice as “comforts.” 

There is no end of gems of medical “wisdom” and misinformation in 
the volume. Turning to page 743, one finds, in a disquisition on syphilis, 
the following epigram: 

“One of the difficult things about syphilis is that to cure it often 
requires a long time — two years or more.” 

Professor Henry H. Hazen truthfully and optimistically states with 
regard to “cures” in syphilis: 

“The criteria of cure are most unsatisfactory. Not until more cases 
have been followed for years shall we know exactly what has been ac- 
complished. Relapses have been reported after the patient has been 
clinically and serologically negative for eight or ten years.” 

The consensus of those who know and tell the truth is that there does 
not yet exist any method of “cure” or even a reliable criterion for the judg- 
ment of “cures” in syphilis, 

ON THE FUNCTIONS OF THE A. M. A. 

Fishbein’s “Modern Home Medical Adviser” serves as a perfect illus- 
tration of the true function of the American Medical Association and of 
its rackets, including its publicity racket. It is a profitable enterprise for 
its bosses* ring and a bus in ess- getter for their henchmen, medicine’s politically 
designated “authorities.” This function of the American Medical Associa- 
tion and its monopolistic and coercive nature is clearly stated in the opening 
chapters of this invaluable “Adviser.” It states: 

“Before a physician may join the A. M. A. he must be a member of 
the county and state medical societies, and he must be a member of all 
these societies before he may join any 'recognized* specialty societies.” 

”... Membership in a medical society is not an absolute guarantee 
of honesty or of good faith (of a physician) . . but 

“A patient is much better off with a doctor who belongs to a rccog- 
ni ^ed medical society.” 


53 



B y this time the reader has learned enough to appreciate the advantages 
of keeping out of the hands of the nit- wits who bow to the racketeering of 
medical organization ; also that a good use for the Modern Home Medical 
Adviser is building fires or baser employ. 

* * * * # * 

Announcing Dr. Morris Fishbein’s employment by it as a syndicated 
writer, King Features Syndicate, Inc, stated in a full page advertisement in 
Editor and Publisher of March 23, 1940: 

“as an authority on medicine, dr. fishbein’s name is synony- 
mous WITH THE ‘STERLING 1 STAMP ON A PIECE OF SILVER.” 


54 



CHAPTER V. 

CENSORSHIP OF THE PRESS 


'J'he American Medical Association and organized social service, with the 
New York Academy of Medicine and other allies, exert an absolute 
censorship over the publication in lay and popular channels of all news which 
affects their interests. 

Protestations of news syndicates, newspapers, and magazines to the Ameri- 
can Medical Association of their complete submissiveness to its censorship are 
regularly published in the Journal of the A. M.A. A typical one, from the 
United Press, received comment in the editorial columns of the Journal of 
January 20, 1 94.O: 


CURRENT COMMENT 

Only those closely associated with modern trends in publication are fam- 
iliar with the vast improvement that has been taking place relative to the 
publication of news of scientific advances. A bulletin recently issued by 
the United Press to its bureau managers and division managers is worthy 
of quotation. It reads: 

“It seems advisable to restate our traditional policy concerning handling 
stories of 'cures’ or other medical developments. 

“This policy, which dates back more than twenty years, is never to call 
anything a cure, or in fact give any publicity to any remedy of any descrip- 
tion, without a thorough investigation. 

“This rule is now being strengthened by the following: 

“Under no circumstances put any story on the leased wire about a remedy. 
If the bureau manager is convinced that the story has merit, he should 
overhead it to New York for investigation and consideration there.” 

Thus, under the guise of “protecting the public” a complete censorship of 
scientific and medical news is given by the U. P. to the New York medical 
clique. The New York newspapers, especially the Times , likewise submits to 
censorship at the hands of this group, as do many other newspapers and 
magazines. 

“DOC” SIMMONS MUZZLED MEDICAL PROFESSION 

Such control of the lay press of a character as thorough as that exercised 
over the medical press, was absolutely essential for the success of the rackets 
founded by fI Doc” Simmons. Pow er of censorship over the reader columns 
insures control of the announcement of medical discoveries and other cred- 
itable news. It enables the theft of valuable ideas and discoveries and also 
making and breaking of medical reputations. Thus it forces the medical 
pro ession into tribute and allegiance. The control of the advertising columns 


55 



of the press spells power of life and death over the medical and drug industries 
and the financial success of the A, M. A. “testimonial racket.” 

The story of the establishment of this censorship is one of blunder, stupidity, 
intrigue and politics that is characteristic of the entire history of the A. M. A. 
By their rule of ethics that enjoined doctors from speaking for publication for 
the lay press Simmons and his clique made it difficult for the press to obtain 
information on medical topics except from quacks, sub-rosa channels, or from 
influential medical politicians. The code made the work of editors and re- 
porters extremely difficult and created high antagonism among them against 
the medical profession. 

SOCIAL SERVICE GAINED MEDICAL NEWS CENSORSHIP 

Advantage was taken of the arrogant stupidity of the medical bosses by 
organized social service to gain a part in the control and censorship of medical 
news which they still retain and which has served them well in securing un- 
limited support for their questionable activities. In cahoots with the Metro- 
politan Life Insurance Company, the New York Tuberculosis and Health 
Association set up the Medical Information Bureau, under the direction of 
Dr. I ago Galdston. They succeeded in imposing this censorship and business- 
building agency on the New York Academy of Medicine and on the New York 
County Medical Society. 

FISHBEIN DISCOVERED PROFITS IN POPULAR MEDICINE 
In the meantime Dr. Morris Fishbein, who had become boss of the A.M..A 
and editor of its Journal, undertook to combat the host of enemies and rivals 
of the medical fraternity in books addressed to laymen on quacks and fads. 
It is interesting to note that none of the fads and quackery of the A. M. A. 
or its bosses was exposed in these books. This started Fishbein and the As- 
sociation in the field of popular publication. The magazine Hygeia followed. 
Eventually, as has been related, Fishbein developed a very profitable business 
as a privileged medical columnist and lay magazine contributor who was pro- 
tected in his somewhat monopolistic activities by “medical ethics,” Lately 
Fishbein has also “gone into the movies” and become editor and censor of mo- 
tion pictures. The development of medical propaganda in the movies is illus- 
trated by such movies as the “Dr, Kildare” series and the “Magic Bullet.” 
The attainment of complete censorship and control of medical news was a 
bit complicated by personal ambition of Morris Fishbein. Only such loyal 
A. M. A. henchmen as Dr. Irving S. Cutter of the Daily News were safe from 
them. The situation was further complicated by the competitive censorship of 
the Medical Information Bureau,. 

QUALITY OF SCIENCE REPORTING WAS HIGH 
Between 1925 and 1935 science and medical reporting had reached a high 
state of development. Most of the news syndicates, and some newspapers 
and magazines, had learned to appreciate the news value of science. Science 
editors were then alert newspapermen who realized that their value to the 
public and to their employers depended on the dissemination of fresh news of 
medical and scientific discovery without bias, and they made a good job of it. 


56 



Their columns were often the first to apprise scientists and physicians of ad- 
vances in their respective fields. Important and life-saving medical discoveries 
were often announced by them years before any mention in the politically 
dominated journals of the A, M. A. In some cases important discoveries were 
announced in the newspapers that for personal and political reasons were sup- 
pressed entirely in the A. M. A. and other medical journals. Readers formed 
the habit of buying several publications in order to read the diverse reports on 
scientific topics. 

MEDICAL MONOPOLIES COMBAT “MENACE” 

Freedom of the lay press in medical matters was a grave menace to the 
medical and social service rackets. It threatened their monopolistic plots and 
plans and endangered their illicit enterprises. It was essential for them that 
the freedom of the press in matters pertaining to medicine should be sup- 
pressed. 

For this purpose letter-writing lobbies of henchmen and “authorities” were 
maintained which bombarded the editors and proprietors of newspapers and 
magazines with letters lauding the news that the group desired published and 
condemning the news that they wished suppressed. Always it was represented 
by the letter writers that their sole interest was to protect the public who were 
so dear to them. Many of the letters were forged in the names of pretended 
patients that represented that they had suffered injury and abuse at the hands 
of the physician whose work the lobby sought to suppress. These letter lobbies 
made the editors quite fearful of their jobs. The medical organizations also 
sought to dictate what should be published by placing restrictions and obstruc- 
tions in the way of the editors in securing medical news. In self defense the 
National Association of Science Writers was formed. 

ORGANIZED MEDICINE WOOS N. A, S. TV- 

Then began a process of wooing of the press by the A.M, A. and the 
New York Academy of Medicine cliques. Fishbein and Galdston sought and 
obtained jobs as syndicated columnists and editors, the former on the N. E. A. 
serving the Scripps-Howard papers and the latter on the Associated Press. 
This made them in effect censors of medical news issued by these syndicates. 

In the meantime both the social service and medical cliques began to wine, 
dine, adulate, decorate and bestow medals on the science writers and their 
Association. The New York Academy of Medicine, the New York County 
Medical Society, the American Society for the Control of Cancer, the Ameri- 
can Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science and many others, wooed with tinsel 
and with Hesh-and honey-pots. 

A. M. A. TRUSTEES FETE SCIENCE EDITORS 

On October 30, 1937, the Trustees of the American Medical Association 
P ayed host to the National Association of Science Writers 

m a special conference at which representatives of organized medicine in 
menca, medical columnists and science reporters exchanged news on 


57 



ways and means to keep the public informed of progress in medical 
science,” 

The hosts took great pains to explain that their sole concern, forsooth, was the 
protection of public welfare. For this purpose the guests were asked to accept 
censorship and muzzling by the hosts. 

The science writers replied with a cynicism bred of many years of contact 
with corrupt, dishonest and racketeering representatives of organized medicine 
and social service. William Lawrence of the New York Times pointed 
out the saving of human lives which resulted from the dissemination of news 
of medical discoveries through the press far earlier and more rapidly than the 
A, M. A. chose to permit in its own publications. 

He might have pointed out to his hosts that the A* M. A, had been respon- 
sible for delaying for many years the dissemination of information regarding 
the life-saving properties of sulfanilamide; and also for the "endangering of 
human lives and . . . causing avoidable deaths / 1 maiming and misery as in the 
case of dinitrophenol, 

MEDICAL BOSSES PROFIT FROM SUPPRESSION OF 
MEDICAL NEWS 

He might have pointed out that these acts against the health and lives of 
the public are generally deliberately perpetrated for motives of profit. Re- 
tarding their dissemination permits medical bosses to selectively profit from 
medical discoveries by making available to themselves alone information and 
drugs which are withheld from the profession at large. In this manner they 
are enabled to turn new discoveries into private, secret remedies of the type 
they pretend to condemn, and to convert them to the enhancement ot their 
reputations and fortunes. Also the suppression or delay of publication of 
medical discoveries serves to protect the reputations of medical bosses and 
politicians, so-called "authorities", and to uphold their pretense of omniscience. 
Quite frequently it enables the theft of credit for medical discoveries. In- 
creasingly it is becoming the vogue now for officers and laymen executives of 
philanthropies and Organized Social Service to steal the credit for medical 
discoveries made by others. 

WATSON DAVIS TALKS ABOUT MENACE OF MEDICINE 

CENSORSHIP— 

The corrupt, dishonest and dangerous situation which the proposed censor- 
ship would create was eloquently portrayed by Watson Davis, editor of the 
Science Service as follows: 

"Just as the treatment of a patient is left to the experience and judgment 
of the physician within the wide limits of legal statutes and medical 
ethics, so the writing of medical science cannot be restricted by rules and 
regulations other than the experience, judgment and morality of the 
reporter and publisher, controlled by the laws of libel and the first amend- 
ment of the Constitution. 

"Suppress by force of a censorship the possibility of publishing even the 
most unsocial and heretical medical opinion and you have injected into the 


58 



body politic the cultures of a vile disease — the intolerance that leads to 
dictatorship . I believe that this attitude must be maintained even though 
the psychiatrist and psychologist will agree that thoughts, motives and 
ideals can be damaged by poisonous ideas as fatally as bodies can be made 
ill by chemicals and bacteria. 

“Opinion both public and professional, rather than law or clique censor- 
ship, must police the popularization of medicine. The incompetents, the 
sly distorters, gold- poisoned pens that serve other than the public through 
the press, must, and, I am confident, will be eliminated by the general 
recognition of their misdeeds. Wholesome public controversy should 
illumine honest differences of judgment in science reporting. But I would 
rather see a return to the inglorious days of careless, misunderstanding 
reporting of science than sec a secret or open censorship imposed directly 
or indirectly upon the press. . . . 

- . it is of public concern if dominant views within any scientific group 
tend to suppress minority or unconventional opinions ” 

BUT LATER ACCEPTS CENSORSHIP BY A. M. A. 

More important truths have never been uttered in a spirit of humbug and 
sham* Within less than one year after this pretty speech, Watson Davis, his 
Science Service and the National Association of Science Writers had com- 
pletely submitted to the dictation and censorship of the rackets of organized 
medicine all medical news. Thanks to the censorship, medical news became 
entirely secondary to propaganda and publicity for the 57 different varieties 
of medical and social service rackets. The press succumbed to the blandish- 
ments of the numerous pressure groups, of medical specialty organizations set 
up for the sole purpose of gaining the spotlight of the news for their bosses 
and of their “public relations counsels.” Even editor Henry R, Luce and 
sub-editor Frank Norris of Time have succumbed to his blandishments, Fish- 
bein has intimated in his “Sedatives and Tonics.” 

FREE ADVERTISING FOR MEDICAL BOSSES INSURED 

Now that medical news has assumed for the press and its editors the com- 
plexion of publicity and propaganda primarily, it has become the vogue of 
prominent hospitals and clinics and their physicians and surgeons to employ 
publicity agents, Fishbein acknowledges and justifies this in his “Fads and 
Quackery in Healing” (p. 337) as follows: 

“A great clinic, if properly organized, must have its publicity department . 
... In this way, the name of any clinic may be brought prominently to 
the people. I say ‘may-be ’ ; perhaps I should say ‘has-been.* ” 

He explains that representatives of clinics must appear at medical meetings; 
read papers; broadcast their woik by motion pictures; have their “leaders” 
give inter views containing “statements sufficiently fantastic to catch the front 
page and sufficiently scientific to avoid too great condemnation by medical 
colleagues” ; and exploit discoveries of “research workers who are working 
contentedly in their cubbyholes.” Characteristically, he does not discern the 


S9 



contradiction between these publicity activities and the A. M. A/s “code of 
ethics” which enjoins 

"It is unprofessional to procure patients by indirection . . . or by in- 
direct advertisement or by furnishing or inspiring newspapers and mag- 
azine comments. . . *” 

PROPAGANDA SUPPLANTS NEWS 
The function of the public relations counsel is to purchase from the editors 
of publications the issuance of news stories for their employers. Though 
direct purchase is regarded as crude and “unethical,” hypocrisy and elastic 
conscience have made indirect purchase by gift or favor, combined where 
necessary with advertising pressure, "accepted practise.” This hypocritic 
“ethics” makes it possible for the public relations counsel and publicity men to 
charge exorbitant fees for their services. Thus one of their number who spe- 
cializes in social service publicity and advertises the list of his clientele, in- 
cluding the Federal Government, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Welfare 
Council of New York City and the National Association for the Prevention 
of Blindness, circularizes prospective clientele with a fee list. He sells his 
talents and the news columns which they command at twenty- five dollars a 
phone call, forty dollars an hour, one hundred and fifty dollars a day, five 
hundred dollars a week, and twenty-five thousand a year. A large part of 
the funds of the medical and social service rackets are now expended in 
payment of these procurers and panders of the printed word. 

Newspapers and magazines have become largely perverted to publicity 
and propaganda media. No longer is news defined in terms of “man bite 
dog.” It is evaluated in terms of “who is the publicity man and how liberal 
is he ” Much to the convenience of the propagandists, newspaper syndicates 
have made it possible to pervert and poison the news of whole chains of news- 
papers and periodicals. The news empires of the Hearsts and the Munseys 
have been swallowed by the empires of the Rockefellers, and the Associated 
Press has moved its offices, as have the Tirnes-Fortune-Life group, into Rocke- 
feller's Radio City. The Dally News and the Chicago Tribune are owned by 
their kin. 

SCIENCE WRITERS DEVELOP “ETHICS”— 

The National Association of Science Writers has followed the trend. To 
justify the defection from the ideals which they have professed and as a balm 
to their consciences, they have adopted another of the hypocritic “ethical” 
codes affected by professions that pretend to hold themselves aloof from com- 
mercial practices. The principal tenets and dialectics of the code are those 
which justify the acceptance of censorship by vested medical and scientific in- 
terests. It runs as follows: 

Science editors are incapable of judging the facts of phenomena in- 
volved in medical and scientific discovery. Therefore they only report 
discoveries approved by medical “authorities” of rank, like Fishbein, or 
those presented before a body of scientific peers. 

The specie us ness of this “ethics” is obvious. If they are incapable of 


60 



judging facts and phenomena, science editors arc unfitted for their tasks 
either as scientists or as newsmen. As a matter of fact the shoe is on the 
other foot. These editors* heads have been turned by Pulitzer and other 
prizes and by the adulation of those who seek publicity. They have come to 
fancy themselves as great scientists and prospective directors and dictators in 
the field of science, and to regard themselves as of higher importance than any 
mere scientific worker. They seem to have forgotten to be news men and fail 
to realize that if they confine themselves to reporting facts known to the 
medical authorities, what they report will be neither news nor discovery. Or if 
they refuse to report anything that has not been presented before a scientific 
body, they accept the control and censorship with which the bosses of or- 
ganized medicine protect their business by barring the presentation of any 
discoveries except those which they make or steal. Such second-hand reports 
of medical discovery are not news but are advertising and publicity. 

One can scarcely imagine a reporter of the past waiting until an item was 
known to every one before publishing it. But this seems to be the concept of 
news of science reporters and of the New York Times . 

BUT SURRENDER PRINCIPLES 
Watson Davis, in his talk at the A. M. A, lovefest, made it clear that the 
editors were acutely aware of the dangers of suppression of medical discovery 
by the indirect form of censorship that they now accept. Evidently the 
rewards of their actions have had blunting effects on conscience. For all the 
direst predictions of the consequences of such censorship have come true; but 
the members of the N. A. S. W. have showed no signs of repentance or reform. 
On the contrary the same type of censorship has been extended to organizations 
that formerly were forums for free discussion of science such as the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, and to their publications such as 
Science and Nature. They now submit publications of discoveries pertaining 
to medicine to censorship by organized medicine, leaving no medium free for 
the publication of any medical topic that merchant bosses of medicine seek to 
suppress to protect their interests. 

MARXISM INVADES SCIENCE 
Most of the science writers are salaried workingmen who have imbibed 
deeply the Bismarxian propaganda. They are confirmed “liberals,” Thus 
John O’Neill, science editor of the Herald Tribune stated before the Fifth 
Estate Club that one of his criteria for the censorship of scientific discoveries 
is the “profit motive,” Since every discovery redounds to the credit and 
benefit of some one, this censorship works in this manner: It the discovery 
may incr^e the oractise of an independent ohysreian of no medical political 
influence, it is denied publication; but if it fills the pocketbook of an influential 
medical politician or institution it is insistently touted and broadcasted. 

REWARDS OF CONFORMITY 
The rewards of conformity of science writers are many. For their uphold- 
ing freedom of speech in science, before the institution of the present policy of 
censorship, I praised a group of them in my book, "Glaucoma And Its Medical 


61 



Treatment With Cortin”, in 1937. Shortly thereafter the same men were 
awarded, for their reporting of the Harvard Tri-Centennial, a Pulitzer 
Prize. In 1938, the National Association of Science Writers was given by the 
American Society for the Control of Cancer, the Clement Cleveland medal 
“for outstanding work in the control of cancer/ ’ To Howard Blakeslee, 
science editor of the Associated Press, was awarded in January 1940 by the 
American College Publicity Association, the Wilson L. Fairbanks award, as 
“the individual who has done most for the interpretation of higher education 
to the general public/* 

Now that censorship has become the order of the day, the flow of honors 
and awards from those who seek publicity is rising. Many science editors are 
not men who seek out news of science for publication. They are men who 
are wooed with press releases in one hand and an award or stick of candy in 
the other. And they seem to like the candy and fall for it. 

Not all the awards take the form of empty honors. The rewards of 
orthodoxy in a science editor may be a fortune. One of them has risen to 
high rank in a large industrial concern where he handles science publicity 
and propaganda and the company's relations with the N. A. S. W. at a reputed 
salary of twenty-five thousand dollars a year. Such stories fire ambitions. 

Two contrasting recent incidents illustrate aptly the injuries which result 
from the prostituted control of the publication of medical hews: 

BRUTAL LEMPERT “WINDOW” OPERATION BOOSTED 
On the sixth of May 1938 the New York Times carried a dispatch labelled 
“Special to the New York Times** from the meeting of the American Otolo- 
gical Society in Atlantic City. The headline read: “‘hearing window 1 
found aid to deaf.” It related that Dr. Samuel J. Kopetzky had reported 
to the Society on an ear operation for the relief of progressive deafness. The 
operation was not new, but was merely a modification of one described a 
number of years prior by a French professor, Dr. Sourdille, 

Though the operation involves risks to health and life, it gives results 
that are not as good as I had reported in a paper read before the Acoustical 
Society of America, in 1933, can be obtained from the simple and easy pro- 
cedure of incision or excision of the eardrum. All these procedures have only 
a transient influence on the progress of the deafness. 

In spite of the moot value of the operation the Times published the story. 
No censorship prevailed. Dr. S. J. Kopetzky is Chairman of the Publicity 
Committee of the New York County Medical Society. Owing to the failure 
of verification of the data presented by the parties involved, the Ameri- 
can Otological Society refused to publish his paper. Dr, Kopetzky sensed 
the full significance of their action, felt compelled to resign. Operations are 
always favored by organized medicine, however, as quick sources of income. 
In spite of the question raised regarding the veracity of the sponsors of the 
operation, it was vigorously boosted at a meeting of the New York Academy of 
Medicine in March 1940. This was the beginning of the ruthless exploita- 
tion of the Lcmpert Fenestration (or Window) Operation that has caused 
so much maiming, misery and total loss of hearing in the deafened. Further 
details are given in the Appendix. 


62 



VITAL DISCOVERY IS SUPPRESSED 
Contrasting sharply with this over-eager advertising and publicizing of a 
grave operation of highly questionable value, is the treatment accorded many 
vital discoveries. This was once again illustrated by the treatment recently 
given a fundamental medical discovery— a new and successful method of treat- 
ment of a group of diseases of the muscle-nerve apparatus with Vitamin E. 
On the twenty-third of June 1939 I presented before the Essex County Opto- 
metric Society a report of successful treatment with Vitamin E of a series of 
cases of a group of diseases including myasthenia gravis and progressive muscu- 
lar dystrophy, which had been regarded until then as hopeless disorders. Brief 
mention was made of the discovery in the Newark newspapers but all reference 
to it was suppressed in the national press by the medical censors of the syndicate 
releases. Though the optometric journals carried reports of the discovery, pub- 
lication of it was rejected by medical journals for the usual reasons of medical 
politics. 

The life-saving action of Vitamin E had not yet been extended to the vic- 
tims of the disease by the profession in even such institutions as the Mayo 
Clinic almost a year later. For doctors are too bigoted to learn from lay publica- 
tions, and A. M. A. and other medical journals refused to publish my life- 
saving discovery. I determined to attempt to give the victims of the disease its 
benefit by securing its publication in scientific journals which publish items of 
medical science. Late in 1939 I submitted to Science, the official magazine of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science of which I am a 
Fellow and to Nature, the British scientific magazine, the following brief 
report. 

VITAMIN E THERAPY OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS 

The influence of vitamin E on muscular dystrophy in animals lias been 
reported by a number of observers. This is a report of successful therapy 
of myasthenia gravis and muscular dystrophy in the human with wheat 
germ oil and vitamin E in combination with other therapy. 

In early myasthenia gravis ranging in duration from one to five years, I 
have had consistent success in cases that have failed to respond to other 
forms of treatment with a therapy consisting of balanced dosage of 
ephedrine and suprarenal cortex hormone, glycocoll, gelatine, high sodium 
chloride and a diet rich in vitamins A, B, C and G. Complete relief of 
the pareses of muscles of the eyes, face and body was obtained. The 
results are lasting and contrast sharply with the ephemeral results obtained 
with prostigmine. 

In more advanced cases that show marked muscle changes, no success 
followed this therapy until wheat germ oil, vitamin E or a-tocopherol 
were added. It was then learned that materially greatei improvement 
could be obtained also in the early cases by the addition of those sub- 
stances. 

A study of the creatine output in the urine revealed that these cases snow 
a relatively high loss, which rises with the administration of glycocoll. I 
was able to confirm observations previously made on the effect of 


63 



a-tocopherol in raising the renal threshold of creatine and reducing its 
loss from the body in the urine. 

The influence of the various forms of vitamin E on the muscles is readily 
explainable on the basis of the importance of creatine and its compounds 
in muscular activity. The response of the early cases of myasthenia gravis 
to the therapy without vitamin E is due to the fact that the threshold is 
not sufficiently lowered to deplete the muscles of the creatine provided 
by the gly cocoll and the diet. When the threshold drops to a point so 
low that insufficient creatine is retained for muscular activity extreme 
forms of the disease develop. 

The response of both myasthenia gravis and muscular dystrophy to the 
therapy indicates that they are different stages of the same condition. It 
also appears probable that the role of the vitamin in preserving fertility 
may depend on its influence on the muscular factors involved in the pro- 
creative function. The vitamine also plays an important role in the func- 
tion of heart muscle and in the prevention of myocardial disease. 

An increase of the diseases due to vitamin E deficiency in the diet is a 
natural consequence of its elimination from the diet as a result of the 
denaturing of foods. It is probable that there exists a wide array of sub- 
clinical conditions characterized by modern degrees of muscular weak- 
ness and fatigue as a consequence of this deficiency. 

Serious consideration should be given to restoring to universal use in the 
$liet sources rich in vitamin E, such as freshly ground and unprocessed 
grains, in the interest of preserving both vigor and fertility of the race. 

E. M. Josephson, M, D, 

Nature indicated medical censorship by rejecting the report with the sug- 
gestion that it "would appear more appropriately in a medical journal." Dr. 
J. McKeen Cattell, editor of Science, returned the report with the statement 
that it had been rejected by a referee, the American Medical Association 
censor that passes on all articles pertaining to medicine that are submitted for 
publication. The referee was reported by him to have characterized this sue- 
cinct report of an important discovery, based on several years of study and 
a wealth of clinical materia!, as 

"An uncritical, uncontrolled clinical study with a number 
of speculative statements and therefore not suited to Science." 

CONFIRMATORY REPORT IS PUBLISHED 
The questionable judgment or sincerity of referee and editor is made clear 
by the fact that within one week after the long delayed rejection of the report, 
its contents were fully confirmed by an article by Dr. Franklin Bicknell, 
which appeared i r\ Lancet* Science (and Watson Davis’ Science Service) car- 
ried a full length report of the work of Dr. Bicknell a few weeks after it had 
rejected my paper. In this manner does the Holy Office of the Inquisition of 
medical science operate. It confirms the ugliest predictions made by Watson 
Davis. It is a measure of the corruption, chicanery and medievalism which 
has crept into science. 


64 



On further study of myasthenia gravis 1 found that vitamin E is effective 
in treating the disease up to the most advanced stage. In the final stage 
of the disease, the mineral, manganese must be administered in combination 
with the vitamin E. The tumor of the thymus gland, thymoma, which fre- 
quently develops in the advanced stage of the disease and may be fatal in its 
consequences, clears up completely under the action of the manganese, as does 
the rest of the disease process. When manganese treatment is stopped, the 
thymoma and the other signs and symptoms of myasthenia gravis, return and 
the patient suffers a relapse which again clears up when manganese treat- 
ment is resumed. 

The influence of the dietary treatment with manganese on the tumor 
of the thymus gland led me to study the influence of manganese on other en- 
largements of the thymus gland, such as those which occur in certain infants 
and children, and in status lymphaticus that threatens life. These enlarge- 
ments respond to the administration of manganese and clear up completely 
so long as the patients get enough manganese. When the amount of man- 
ganese which they get becomes insufficient, the enlargement returns. 

These studies have opened up a fundamental and important new chapter 
in medicine. They reveal that the thymus has much the same relation to the 
utilization of manganese as the thyroid has to iodine. 

Despite the life-saving and scientific importance of this discovery, it was 
rejected for publication by the leading medical publications, including the 
Journal of the A. M. A., the Endocrinology and others, on the grounds that 
‘‘it would not be of interest to our readers.” 

Science does not stop, however, with the politically dictated suppression 
of publication of reports of scientific discovery. It also suppresses advertise- 
ments of scientific books which the American Medical Association seeks to 
repress. It is amusing to consider that the perpetrator of this breach of 
freedom of speech and publication is none other than the professor who was 
ousted from Columbia University with his son because of the latter’s insist- 
ence on freedom of speech in encouraging resistance to draft during the World 
War; and who was enabled to publish Science by the support of friends, 
gained by a plea for freedom of speech in science. 

Another of numerous such incidents was the deliberate discrediting by or- 
ganized medicine of the masterful work of Professor Swingle of Princeton 
University in which he and collaborators proved that deficiency of the adrenal 
cortex underlies surgical shock. Almost a decade later, March 12, 1940, wide- 
spread publicity was given to the “discovery” of this fact by Dr. David Perla 
of the Montefiore Hospital, by organized medicine. A partial explanation of 
the situation may be found in the fact that Swingle used his own American 
preparation of the hormone while the Perla experiments publicized the product 
patented by the Rockefeller-German Dye Trust interests. As so often happens 
when organized medicine seeks profit or revenge, Swingle the discoverer was 
discredited, and credit for the discovery has been given to an imitator or cor- 
roborates To what extremes this vindictive suppression of scientific work is 
carried is illustrated by the fact that in the bibliography of the subject included 
in the advertising matter of the Schering Co. based on this use of adrenal 



cortex hormone, no mention is made of Swingle’s basic work. The content o i 
such advertising literature is censored by the A. M. A. Council. 

These incidents illustrate the “principle” which enters censorship of medi- 
cal publication, show how it is used by medical politicians to cover themselves 
with glory with the work of others, demonstrate the possibilities which it 
offers for the theft of medical discoveries, and portray the injury done thereby 
to the public. 


A. M. A. CENSORSHIP OF ADVERTISING 
The control of advertising columns of the lay press is of utmost import- 
ance to the A. M. A. for the success of its testimonial and other rackets. This 
“zone of influence’' is left for the present entirely to the A. M, A. gang by 
the Social Service Racket. The strangle hold of the A. M. A. on the drug 
trade has been intensified by its success in imposing a censorship of medical 
advertising on a majority of the country’s magazines and newspapers. 

The censorship of advertising has been attained at an enormous cost to the 
publishers of newspapers and magazines. For in the hey-day of journalism 
patent medicine advertising was one of the principal sources of their revenue. 
Some of the advertising was absurd and quackish. But much of it was less 
damaging to the health and interests of the public than are some of the adver- 
tisements that regularly appear in the journals of the American Medical Asso- 
ciation and under its “seal of acceptance.” 

The tactics that were employed by the A. M. A. to gain this censorship 
were varied. They brought into play the full measure of unscrupulousness, 
shrewdness, chicanery and other less honorable aptitudes of the gang. The 
situation serves to expose the Fourth Estate, the proprietors and editors of the 
lay publications, as naive babes- in- the woods as compared with their “bene- 
volent” adversaries of the “testimonial rackets.” 

The first bait laid for the lay publishers was “reliable” medical news of 
the A. M, A. brand. Their sympathies were played upon by pathetic tales of 
how readers were preyed upon by hobgoblin manufactures of pharmaceuticals 
who had not purchased the testimonials of the A. M. A. The publishers were 
bombarded with letters of victims or pretended victims of the products under 
A. M. A. fire, as a part of the campaign to gain the censorship which was 
sought. Naturally, the victims of “accepted” products which have the seal of 
the Association were discreetly left out of the picture. 

FEDERAL AGENCIES ABET A. M. A. 

Federal agencies have been consistently used by the American Medical 
Association as catspaws and pawns in their commerical censorship war. There 
is no question, for instance, of what one would find if one traced the source 
of the recent complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission against the 
advertising and the Institute of Good Housekeeping Magazine. Weil paid 
articles by Morris Fishbein since then have graced the Hearst magazines, and 
the A. M. A. and its subsidiaries are emerging as censors of the Hearst news- 
papers, as is made clear by the illustrated letter from the New York Journal 
and American . On April Fool’s Day, 1940, Fishbein attained a goal for 


66 





Daily and Sunday 


210 South Street, New Yori, N. y. 


Ootob^r 4th, 1938 


Dr. E. li. Josephs on, 

108 E. 81st St., 

New York, N. Y. 

Dear Dr. Josephson;- 

Supplementing our telephone conversation, we wish to advise 
you that your advertisement is being withheld by our Board 
of Censors pending reply from the Kedic&l Society of the 
County of New York. 

Upon receipt of the necessary information we will immediately 
communicate with you. 


truly yours. 


Classified Advertising Department 




lEunter 

ho 


TEH FT TO US AND WEIL TELL A MIUJON 

***** attune*, eoa than i m/m . . mum o attiunoN, non than 


“FREEDOM OF THE PRESS” 

I s concerns the advertisement of a book entitled ‘'Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cortin” 
which described popularly an important sight-saving discovery, I had published it as part of a crusade to 
Prevent needless blinding by the disease and by the operations which are the “accepted practise,” The 
bosses of the ophthalmologic specialty objected to tlie book because it threatened their income from blinding 
glaucoma operations and established a censorship on the subject and conspired to prevent dissemination of 
l be method of treatment and advertisement of the book The Nciv York Journal and American refused to 
Publish the advertisement on the advice of the Society- From the point of view of the publisher of the 
hook, this constitutes conspiracy in restraint of trade. It also illustrates the corruption by some publications of 
. freedom of press and publication” and the suppression of the rights of others. The book threatened the 
incomes of the ophthalmologists who specialized in Minding glaucoma operations. The censorship of a book 
that described a successful non-operative method of treatment and the conspiracy to prevent its dissemi- 
hat,on were a natural nnlirv. 



which he had striven for several years, since he had broken off with the N.E.A. 
— he began his career of columnist for Hearst’s King Features Syndicate under 
the headline “Medicine In The News/* 

The Federal Trade Commission and other governmental agencies are sing- 
ularly deaf to any complaints lodged against false and misleading ad- 
vertisements and publications of the American Medical Association and its 
bosses. Thus several complaints were lodged with the F. T. C. against the 
fraudulent and quackish advertising and the dangerously misleading text of Dr. 
Morris Fishbein’s Modern Home Medical Adviser . They fell on deaf ears 
Complaints lodged against the A. M. A. and its Journal for false and mis- 
leading advertising, monopoly in restraint of trade and other illegal practises 
were investigated and confirmed by a Congressional Committee of the 72nd 
Congress. But so great is the influence of the A. M. A. that, as has been re- 
lated, it has never been prosecuted. When under investigation the A. M. A. 
poses as a “benevolent” and “educational” organization and makes no mention 
of its rich commercial and racketeering activities. 

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAUS ABET A.M.A. 

The devices that are effectively used by the A. M. A. in its war for con- 
trol of the nation's press are recounted in the decision of the U. S. Court of 
Appeals, 6th Circuit, in the case of Raladam Company vs. the Federal Trade 
Commission, handed down June 28, 1930. It reads: 

“The record here shows, without dispute or by implication which would 
hardly be denied, that the American Medical Association is engaged in a 
campaign against those proprietary remedies which it believes ought to be 
used by the public either not at all or only under supervision. 

“It has a Bureau for that and other purposes, and the Bureau employs 
a director. When it is thought that a particular advertisement should be 
stopped, this director takes the matter up with the Federal Trade Com- 
mission and with the Association of Better Business Bureaus, which are 
scattered over the country. 

“Thereupon the Commission, if it approves, files a complaint and event- 
ually, if it is convinced of the truth of its complaint, makes the order to 
desist and refrain. The Better Business Bureaus explain to their local 
newspapers and to the general periodicals that it would be wise to refuse 
this advertising, 

“The Chairman of the Commission, in public addresses and in corres- 
pondence, advises the newspapers that they will be subject to prosecu- 
tion by the Commission as defendants, to be joined with the advertisers, 
if they do not desist from such publications; and the newspapers may 
suspect that if they do not comply with the advice of the Better Business 
Bureaus, their general advertising patronage from the membership of 
these bureaus will fall off.” 

VITAMIN PRODUCTS CO. LIBELLED BY B. B. B. 

Another case that illustrates the methods of this malodorous alliance, is 
that of the Vitamin Products Co., one of the pioneer marketers of vitamins. 


68 



Alert, progressive and far ahead of the times, the company distributes with its 
products literature that describes the clinical results that can be obtained 
with vitamins- Persons who inquired of the A. M. A. about the value of 
vitamins were falsely informed that vitamins have not been proved to have 
any clinical value and that the claims to that effect made by Vitamin Products 
Co. were unfounded. 

Copies of these: letters were forwarded by the A. M, A- to the Better 
Business Bureau of Milwaukee. Firms with which the company sought to 
do business, on inquiring of the Better Business Bureau, were given this false 
and libelous data. Eventually the Vitamin Products Co. got wind of this 
libel and slander, and brought suit against the Bureau. The A. M. A., instead 
of standing by its ally, denied any knowledge of the matter. 

The Better Business Bureau of Milwaukee has acknowledged its male- 
factions- Pending the fixing of the extent of the damages it has done to the 
business of Vitamin Product Company, the Bureau has undertaken to limit 
its liability by reorganizing — thus demonstrating one of the questionable 
methods of business which it is supposedly organized to combat. 

advertising censorship dooms press 

This statement by the Court of how the F. T. C. acts as a pawn and sub^ 
sidiary of the American Medical Association in the conduct of its rackets, 
explains how the latter has obtained its censorship of the press by officially sup- 
ported intimidation. With this censorship the A. M. A. is dooming mag- 
azines and newspapers to death from lack of advertising revenue. As favored 
advertising media the A. M. A. journals, including the magazine Hygeia are 
waxing constantly richer on the revenues derived from a monopoly of medical 
advertising won by the racketeering methods described- Since the A. M- A. 
has not yet entered the radio advertising and broadcasting business on a serious 
scale, the broadcasting companies are still permitted to put on the air adver- 
tisements which have been barred in the newspapers, thus hastening the 
destruction of the press. It is hard to understand why publishers have not 
awakened to realize how they have been intimidated and duped by this 
A. M. A. racket. 

NEW YORK TIMES DENIES FREEDOM OF PRESS TO OTHERS 

The absurd and dangerous complexion of this censorship of medical adver- 
tising is revealed by the recent refusal of the New York Times to accept the 
advertisement of a popular book on the subject of glaucoma, “Glaucoma And 
Its Medical Treatment With Cor tin, ” which was written as part of an 
educational campaign to prevent blindness. The advertisement was rejected 
because the A- M. A. objected for political reasons which will be related 
presently. Such a censorship as is exercised by the New York Times con- 
stitutes suppression of freedom of thought and speech, the danger of which is 
made apparent by the fact that most important and life-saving discoveries of 
the past have been refused recognition by organized medicine for many years. 

Colonel Adler, who is in charge of the Times advertising staff, freely 
admitted to me that Pasteur’s discoveries would have been denied similar 


69 



advertisement until his views had become recognized by organized medicine. 
The Times could not plead even a desire to protect the public; for it bad 
publicized the glaucoma discovery in an exact and authoritative manner that 
had angered and incensed the medical and social service bosses and their censors, 
before it reached its present state of complete submission to their dictates. In 
m'cw of these facts the advertising campaign that the Times is carrying on in 
its columns with such slogans as “unbiased, complete and accurate’ 1 is as amus- 
ing as it is questionable. 

BUT INSISTS ON FREEDOM OF PRESS FOR ITSELF 

This incident occurred at the very time that the publishers of the Times 
and of other newspapers were conducting a vigorous campaign for “freedom 
of the press,” which they regarded as being threatened by the Child Labor 
Bill. But Col. .Adler would not face the insincerity and inconsistency of the 
attitude of the Times in suppressing the freedom of the press of others while 
demanding it for themselves. 

In this respect the Times follows the reaction pattern of the Communazi 
propagandists. Whenever their propaganda is scotched and checked they cry 
that “Civil Liberties” are being attacked. But the very basis of their own 
activities is the destruction of the Civil Liberties of others. Theirs is the in- 
fantile attitude: “I do. You no do.” When their professional allies are ousted, 
as in the case of Bertrand Russell, they cry that “academic freedom” is being 
destroyed. But the very purpose of their own activities is to destroy the 
academic freedom of others and to force the acceptance of their propaganda 
and dogmas, or else — . Naturally, whatever they do is holy and in the interest 
of the “masses.” As might be expected, the New York Times follows the 
party line and editorially supports the Bertrand Russell champions and their 
fellow “educator” agitators. 

THE FATE OF AN ADVERTISEMENT OF THIS BOOK WHICH WILL flE SUB- 
MITTED TO THE NEW YORK Times AS A TEST WILL DEMONSTRATE TO 
THE READER HOW “UNBIASED AND COMPLETE” IT IS. 

THE PUBLIC IS INJURED BY THE CENSORSHIP 

Though it is pretended that this censorship is being maintained for the 
benefit of the public, it is apparent that it serves only to injure them. For, as 
William Lawrence pointed out to his A. M. A. hosts, delay of publication 
and acceptance of medical discoveries means misery and suffering for the public 
That is the true significance of censorship of medical news. 


70 



CHAPTER VI. 

TESTIMONIALS FOR A PRICE 

THE A. M. A. “ACCEPTANCE” OF FOODS AND DRUGS 

highly lucrative phase of medical business is the drug industry. “Doc” 

Simmons fashioned the entire structure of the A. M. A, to the purpose of 
gaining a whip-hand over the profitable trade. The Journal of the A. M. A., 
the publication, publicity and advertising rackets, and the censorship of the 
press were all designed with an eye to it. 

COUNCIL ON PHARMACY AND CHEMISTRY 

The device that served to gain the A. M. A, a direct control of the drug 
trade was the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry and its “Acceptance of 
Food and Drugs.” Ostensibly it was set up for the purpose of investigating 
and certifying the quality of drugs to the medical profession and to the 
public. Its activities are virtually the issuance of super-testimonials for 
the manufacturers. Later other Councils were set up to pass on foods and 
other items. 

By a series of maneuvers this testimonial business was converted into a 
strangle hold on the drug trade. The “code of ethics” was amended to bar 
physicians from issuing testimonials, so as to give the Council a complete 
monopoly of this business. Advertising in the columns of the A. M. A. 
Journals was barred to products which are not “accepted.” Competitive 
medical journals were driven out of business and the pressure which the 
A. M. A. could put on drug manufacturers was tremendously increased. 

Later the A. M. A. conspired with the publishers of lay newspapers and 
magazines to bar the advertising of any product that is not “accepted.” 
(The Better Business Bureaus participated in this, serving the interests of 
the A. M. A.) It thereby established one of the few monopolies in restraint 
of trade which has not been molested during the past three decades. This 
laid the foundation for an immensely profitable racket. The bulk of the 
money which flows into the coffers of the A. M. A., or into the pockets of 
its bosses, is derived directly or indirectly from this illicit control over the 
drug industry. 

The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry is a blind behind which the 
bosses of the A. M. A. act. In its ranks there are some who are distinguished 
scientists and others who are not. But the members of the Council have 
Bttle to say about its activities. This is made quite clear by the recent 
resignation from the Council of the eminent scientist and Nobel prize- 
winner, Dr. Henry H. Dale, which he indicated was an expression of in- 
dignation at the obvious unfairness of the actions of the Council and the 
A. M. A. Some scientists who lend their names to dignify the Council are 
merely its pawns. 


71 



The "reports of the Council" are generally merely the mouthings of the 
bosses of the A, M. A., of the editor of its Journal and his henchmen. From 
the very start, the distinguished scientist and teacher Dr. Frank G. Lydston 
undertook a courageous campaign of reform from within the A. M. A. In 
a booklet entitled "Why the A. M. A* Is Going Backward" he wrote as 
follows : 

"The achievement of which the oligarchy of the A. M. A. has boasted 
most vociferously has been its belated war on proprietaries, quack medi- 
cine manufacturers and impure food producers. 

"When one recalls the nauseous array of proprietary fakes on the 
advertisements of which the oligarchy built its financial prosperity, its 
‘holier than thou 5 pose is sickening. 

“It was fitting to its psychic constitution that after the * . . A. M. A. 
has for years done its level best to promulgate the interests, and to fatten 
upon, fake manufacturers and professional poisoners of the innocent, 
it should bite the hand that fed it. 

"Despotic powers such as the oligarchy wields over the drug and 
food manufacturers is dangerous, and human nature being what it is, 
that power might be expected sooner or later to be abused . 15 

Professor Lydston was as wise as he was courageous. Subsequent events 
bear out fully how sage was his judgment of the character of the men who 
dominated the A. M. A. when he suspected that the reform which they pre- 
tended to adopt would merely be used by them as a cloak to cover more 
nefarious activities. 

CONSIDERATIONS FOR “ACCEPTANCE" 

An amusing tale is told about the early days of the “acceptance" racket 
that amply supports Dr. Lydston’s statements. Dr. W. C. Abbott, it is re- 
ported, became enraged at the rejection by the A. M. A, of all the products of 
his firm. It was threatening his ruin. Realizing that “Doc" Simmons really 
was the Council, Dr. Abbott sent an assistant of bis to Lincoln, Nebraska, 
to dig up some information that might make the “Doc" more amenable to 
reason. The investigator brought to Abbott full evidence of all the mal- 
odorous activities of “Doc" Simmons. Dr. Abbott also secured affidavits 
regarding some operations performed by “Doc" Simmons in Chicago and 
confronted him with these data. Upon viewing it, Simmons is reported to 
have looked up and asked : 

“What do you want?" 

“I want all the products of my firm ‘accepted’,” Abbott is said to 
have replied. 

It is a matter of record that the Abbott products were “accepted" by the 
A. M. A. thereafter. 

The history of the A. M. A.’s "Seal of Acceptance," is replete with be- 
trayals of professional and public trust. Drug products of the highest value 
have been rejected or their acceptance unwarrantedly delayed. Worthless, 
dangerous or deadly drugs and foods, have been hastily accepted. And 


72 



sometimes the journals of the A. M. A. have all the more heavily advertised 
drugs that the Council has pronounced to be worthless. 

Delayed “acceptance” or rejection of valuable drugs are responsible for 
much human misery and loss of life. Some such instances, which are illus- 
trative of numerous others, will be recounted, 

COD LIVER OIL REJECTED 

A most ludicrous demonstration of the pretended omniscience of the 
A. M. A, which assumes that what they do not know or do not believe, is 
not true, is the case of cod liver oil. Intelligent observation interpreted by 
common sense, had led many generations of plain folks to realize the value 
of cod liver oil as a medicine for the prevention and cure of rickets and of 
other conditions. “Scientific” medicine propounded by the “leaders” of med- 
icine, who were so purblind in their dogmatic ignorance that they could not 
see the obvious, denied any value to the “quack nostrum,” cod liver oil. 

In the second decade of this century, however, some intrepid European 
physicians, daring to tread on u ns auctioned ground, undertook to evaluate the 
folk remedy. Verification of the value of cod liver oil in medical treatment, 
brought derisive editorials and attacks upon this work from the “leaders” of 
the American Medical Association. 

By 1920, there had been completely confirmed by ponderous, dull-witted 
researches what many a generation of housewives had known from plain 
observation and common sense interpretation. The A. M. A. politicos were 
forced to retreat by the sheer weight of evidence. Cod liver oil was grudg- 
ingly “accepted” by the Association and its “omniscient” Council and editor. 

Until then, the A. M. A. had barred the advertisement of the product 
to its reader-physicians and had attacked its use vigorously as a “putrid oil of 
no greater value than any other fatty oil” Until then, the blind trust of 
the public and of its medical advisers in the reliability of the Association 
and its Council deprived a multitude of children who were under “regular” 
and “scientific” medical guidance, of the benefits of cod liver oil and its 
vitamins. 

Few people can now fail to appreciate the falseness and absurdity of the 
actions of the A. M. A. and its Council which denied that cod liver oil had 
any medicinal value. Less readily appreciated by the public are the numerous 
similar actions by the Association which each year bar from advertisement 
and public use, invaluable and life-saving drugs. 

DELAYED SULPHANILAMIDE “ACCEPTANCE” FORCED 

Sulphanilamide was taboo to the American Medical Association journals 
and their medical readers for over two years after its unique value had been 
recognized and broadcast in the European medical journals. Failure of 
“acceptance” of the drug by the A. M. A. Council served to bar its ad- 
vertisement in the U. S.; and in sharp contrast with other instances which 
will be mentioned shortly, no mention without “acceptance” was made. 

As a consequence of this act, which is characteristic of the arbitrary and 
monopolistic control of medical publication and medical advertising by the 
American Medical Association and its editor, numerous victims of the deadly 


73 



disease streptococcus septicemia, popularly known as 1 ‘blood-poisoning/' were 
left to die. They died as sacrifices to medical rackets because their physicians 
were prevented by the Association from timely access to knowledge of the 
value of sulphanilamide, which alone might have saved their lives. 

After a member of the Roosevelt family was successfully treated with 
sulphanilamide by a physician sufficiently favored by the A. M. A. to be given 
the knowledge and use of the drug by its American distributor, the news and 
information about the drug was published in every newspaper in the country. 
In this manner, through the newspapers, the bulk of the medical profession 
first became acquainted with the drug, and thousands of victims of an almost 
hopelessly fatal disease were given a forlorn chance to live, that the A. M. A. 
acceptance and advertising racket had granted previously only to a chosen few. 

FISHBEIN STRIKES BACK 

This incident probably upset many calculations and possibilities of profit 
for the inner ring of the A. M. A. It also robbed Fishbein and his associates 
of the opportunity to bask in the spot-light of newspaper publicity. He 
recaptured the opportunity by immediately issuing exaggerated warnings of 
danger of the drug and by an attack on the drug firm that had made the 
product available to the American public. 

Evidence of the value of sulphanilamide was voluminous. It piled up 
so rapidly that Fishbein lost face in his attacks on the drug and on the house 
which marketed it. The A, M. A. Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry 
found itself forced by honest publicity to promptly “accept” the product. 

This incident rankled the powers -that- be of the A. M, A. deeply. In 
October 1937, there appeared on the market the preparation of a solution of 
sulphanilamide in an extremely poisonous solvent, diethylene glycol. It was 
announced absolutely untruly, by the United Press with which Fishbein was 
identified, that the poisonous product which caused numerous deaths was 
Prontolyn, the Winthrop & Company trade mark for sulphanilamide. This 
accusation was promptly retracted when the firm of Winthrop & Company 
protested its falsity; but the damage to the firm that was regarded as “kicking 
over the traces” and breaching testimonial and advertising discipline had been 
inflicted with a severity designed to discourage any other manufacturers from 
revolting. 

Subsequently, every avenue of publicity was utilized by Fishbein to broad- 
cast that the poisonous nature of the “elixir sulphanilamide” was attributed 
to the glycol solvent. He did not relate, however, that a more poisonous 
glycol solvent had been “accepted” by the Council and the A. M. A. and 
introduced into medicine with their sanction as a preservative and solvent in 
drug preparations intended for injection into the body (New and Non- 
Official Remedies, 1935, p. 132, and 1937, p. 116). Nor did he relate that 
current issues of the A. M. A. journals were carrying advertisements stimu- 
lating the use of these glycol bearing products. Nor did he point out that 
since the A. M. A. and its Council had endorsed the introduction of the 
glycols in medical preparations, the deaths due to the glycol solvent in elixir 
sulphanilamide could be blamed partly on the A. M.A, and himself. This 


74 



situation may have some bearing on the reason why the Food and Drug 
Administration whose duty it was to warn the public and to act in this crisis, 
permitted Fishbein to supersede it. 

This is not an isolated or rare instance of the practice of the Association 
and its editor of brazenly pointing the finger of accusation at others for 
jeopardizing human life by a procedure or preparation which it has accepted* 
Another such case, radium drinking water, will be related. 

For subsequent "good behavior" Winthrop & Company was prominently 
mentioned in the November 1939 United Press reports of the granting to 
Dr, Domaglc of a Nobel prize for the discovery of the value of sulphanila- 
mide. The dispatch stated that the doctor had received the prize foi the 
discovery of Wintbrop’s trade-marked product “Prontosil." 

IODOBOR POWDER AND COMPETITORS 

Another illustration of the damage done by the A, M. A. to public inter- 
est and to a drug firm by ill-motivated "rejection" of a valuable drug is the 
case of lodobor powder. lodobor powder is a bland but powerful general 
antiseptic, which liberates gaseous iodine that penetrates deeply on contact 
with the tissues. Many times as strong as carbolic acid, it is neither irritating 
nor poisonous, and is one of the most efficient antiseptics and germicides 
available. 

lodobor powder was originally marketed for use in infections of the ear 
and of the mastoid cavity. These infections generally cause impairment of 
hearing or deafness, and not infrequently jeopardize life by extension to ad- 
joining structures. Up to the time of the introduction of lodobor powder, the 
only method of treatment which offered some hope of success was operation on 
the mastoid process. These operations generally involve a loss of hearing, 
result in death in five to ten percent of the cases; and in many cases they 
merely check the infection temporarily. 

lodobor powder offered the first uniformly and consistently successful 
method of treatment of these ear and mastoid infections. It not only clears 
up the infection but also restores hearing in most cases. It has come slowly 
into widespread use throughout the world, has saved numerous lives, and 
has restored the hearing of thousands of victims of ear infections. 

The slowness of adoption of this lodobor therapy of ear infections was 
due to the A. M. A., its Council, and politics. At the very outset, lodobor 
powder was submitted to the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry for “ac- 
ceptance" in order that it might be advertised to the medical profession. 
There was really no requirement, even on the part of the A. M, A. that 
this be done; for lodobor consists of two standard antiseptics specified on 
the label, which have been long listed in the Pharmacopeia, mixed in a special 
manner. For such a product the rules of the Council provide automatic 
‘acceptance" and access to advertising columns. The firm marketing the 
product sought acceptance, however, because it found its advertising flatly 
rejected. 

When it rejected the product, the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry 
published a deliberately falsified and absurd “chemical analysis" of the sample 


75 



submitted, which was designed to injure the firm marketing the product. A 
short time thereafter there appeared in the reading columns of the Journal 
of the A. M. A. an article extolling the virtues of a competitive product of 
identical composition which later was placed on the open market as a secret 
proprietary remedy violating all the rules of "ethical” marketing laid down 
by the Council and the Association. 

Investigation revealed the reason for this discrimination. A doctor, who 
was pushing the competitive product, owned the trade-mark and patent 
jointly with his chemist brother-in-law, and had undertaken, through political 
and other influence, to obtain rejection of the honestly marketed product 
which had been submitted for "acceptance.” He had also arranged to secure 
free advertising and publicity for his own product which he then had no 
desire to submit to the Council ; for he meant to keep secret its patented 
formula and under its rules the Council might have been compelled to 
"reject” the product. As a result of these maneuvres, the honestly marketed 
Iodobor powder was barred from effective advertising. Its competitor, 
though it was a patent medicine and considerably the more expensive, was 
given the monopoly of the medical market. 

DANGEROUS AND WORTHLESS PRODUCTS "ACCEPTED” 

Products that are proved dangerous or worthless are not necessarily 
rejected by the Council. Nor does the rejection of a product or its proved 
injuriousness bar its publicity and advertisement from the columns of the 
A. M. A. journals. On the contrary, many such products have been put 
into widespread use through the agency of the A. M. A. 

In numerous instances foods and drugs "accepted” by the Council on 
Pharmacy and Chemistry and advertised extensively in the columns of the 
Journal of the A. M. A. are libelled and condemned by the Food and Drug 
Administration of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, as impure, mis- 
labeled and dangerous to health and life. Thus the Council "accepted” and 
the Journal advertised, in 1935 and 1936, a heart stimulant bearing the trade- 
marked name Digitol, at the very time the Government was seizing and 
condemning interstate shipments of the drug because of mislabeling and 
misrepresentation that was dangerous to life. Also Ergot Aseptic was "ac- 
cepted” by the Council and advertised in the A. M. A. journals when ship- 
ments were being seized and condemned by the Government because of 
adulteration and misbranding. 

The A. M. A. Committee on Foods, "accepted” the "White Star and 
Chicken of the Sea” brand of tuna fish, and carried its advertisements in its 
popular health magazine " Iiygeia /' To make certain that the reader would 
have no misapprehension concerning the significance of the seal of the Associ- 
ation, the advertisement contained the legend: 

"a pure food, honestly advertised. The Seal of Acceptance of 
the Committee on Foods of the American Medical Association is your 
best guarantee that the claims of quality for any product are correct and 
that the advertising for it is truthful. Look for this seal on every food 


76 



you buy. White Star Tuna and Chicken of the Sea Brand Tuna have 
this acceptance." 

The Food and Drug Administration was not impressed by the magic of this 
seal. It repeatedly seized shipments of this brand of tuna fish and ordered 
them condemned because they 

"consisted in whole or in part of decomposed animal substance." 

Quite frequently drugs are unconditionally “accepted" by the Council on 
Pharmacy and Chemistry, and recommended as safe to the medical profession 
and the public through the pages of the A. M. A. journals, and through 
its advertising columns, though they are highly poisonous and so dangerous 
that within relatively few years the high number of deaths which they cause 
comes to be recognized by the rank and file of the medical profession and by 
the public, and their use discontinued. The derivatives of barbituric acid, 
sulphonal, veronal and other sedatives and hypnotics are instances which 
come readily to mind. They have caused numerous cases of poisoning, in- 
sanity and death. Cincophen, likewise "accepted," caused many deaths due 
to the destruction of the liver by acute yellow atrophy. 

Brands of ether advertised in the columns of the Journal of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association, have been libelled and condemned frequently by 
the Food and Drug Administration. These ethers cause many sudden deaths 
of patients under anesthesia. The deaths could be prevented if the A. M. A. 
would warn its members of the dangers of impure ether and apprize them of 
precautionary measures and methods of checking its quality and purity. 

The Army uses such precautionary tests. On one occasion it rejected 
30,000 of a shipment of 50,000 cans of ether because of dangerous impurities. 
According to the evidence before the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry 
of the U. S. Senate, in 1930, the 30,000 cans of Squibb's Ether rejected by 
the Army were returned and sold in the open market. 

Instead of protecting its members and the public, it was testified, the 
A. M* A. continued to advertise these brands of ether in its journals and 
suppressed data regarding their danger. 

LET NOT THY RIGHT HAND 

Sometimes the very issues of the A. M. A. Journals that contain scien- 
tific evidence of the worthless or damaging nature of a product may also 
carry advertisements of it, incorporating claims that are belied by the articles. 
Though the A. M. A. censors demand of lay publishers that they sacrifice 
profits for the protection of their readers, they themselves eschew that policy. 

In the issue of the Journal of the A ♦ M, A . of July 9, 1932, is to be 
found a report by the Association’s Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry on 
the lack of effectiveness of mercurochrome as an antiseptic. It details the 
falseness of the claims made in the advertisements of the product. Before this 
r cport appeared, mercurochrome had been advertised only occasionally in the 
Journal of the A. M. A . For some curious reason, the advertisements of 
mercurochrome in the Journal of the A> M. A . and in other magazines pub- 
lished by the Association, became larger, more frequent and intensive after 


77 



the attack. And the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry has continued its 
“acceptance” and subsequently renewed it. 

FISHBEIN BOOSTED BLINDING DINITROPHENOL 

The reading columns of the journals of the Association and other avenues 
of publicity are often used to stimulate the use of products unacceptable or 
not “accepted” by the Council. Such a case is Fishbein’s pushing of the poison- 
ous “reducing” drug dinitrophenol which has proved so tragic for hundreds 
of thousands of persons. 

DinitrophenoPs biologic properties first came to light in France during 
the war, in connection with its use as a solvent of “dope” for airplane wings. 
High fevers, loss of weight, neuritis and deaths were traced to its poisonous 
action. Much research and study were expended on the drug on the Continent 
in the twenties. As a result it was barred from sale by law in England and 
Sweden. 

Nevertheless, in the early thirties, the Journal of the American Medical 
Association undertook to recommend to the medical profession the use of the 
poisonous dinitrophenol for reduction of obesity. It began with the publica- 
tion of an article by Drs, Cutting, Mehrtens and Tainter in the Journal of 
the A , M. A. Not content to stimulate the use of this poison in the columns 
of his journals, Dr. Morris Fishbein furthered its use among the laity 
through that vast practice of medicine which he conducts through syndicated 
articles in newspapers. 

Dr. Fishbein's campaign to stimulate the use of dinitrophenol was en- 
gineered with such skill and facility as to be the envy of the most disreputable 
and unscrupulous quacks. They hastened to follow his lead. The drug 
counters of the country were soon laden with “reducing remedies” made of 
this poison. 

The manner in which the physicians who arc so stupid as to place their 
trust in the contents of the Journal of the A . M. A . and its editor, were 
led to administer this poison to their patients is illustrated by the following 
item appearing in the column of queries to the editor in the June 29, 1935 
issue of the Journal of the A . M. A. (p. 2385). 

“Alpha dinitrophenol is probably no more risky in this (case of 
obesity) than in other cases.” 

In this manner the editor advised and recommended the use of dinitrophenol. 
No more misleading statement has ever appeared in the vilest type of patent 
medicine advertising. 

In its poisonous action dinitrophenol is devastating. In collaboration 
with Dr. George Cameron, I have demonstrated that dinitrophenol not only 
poisons the taker, but may cause monstrosity formation such as absence of 
eyes and ears in his or her offspring. As a result of the use of dinitrophenol, 
brought about by Dr. Fishbein and his associates, many persons died, many 
thousands have been blinded, disabled and maimed, and future generations 
have been victimized. 

In sharp contrast with their hyperintensive publicity methods in the case 


7S 



of "elixir sulphamlamidc,” Dr. Fishbein and his A. M. A. made no drive 
to stop the use of dinitrophenol. On the contrary, they used all their power 
of control and censorship of the press to hush the matter- Pressure was 
brought to bear against resolutions introduced by me before scientific bodies 
petitioning the Federal Government to step in and bar the use of the drug. 

As a consequence, dinitrophenol may still be sold over the drug counter 
in some states; and doctors who are slow in catching up with their medical 
reading still may prescribe it, on the basis of Fishbein 's earlier advices. Many 
malpractice suits by the victims against their physicians arising out of poisoning 
by dinitrophenol are being settled out of court* 

To protect the profession against further malpractise suits for poisoning 
from dinitrophenol, and to protect the insurance companies issuing malprac- 
tise policies, the usual device is being adopted* The literature is being filled 
with sly reports of experiments to 'prove” that dinitrophenol is not poison- 
ous and does not cause cataracts. Thus Dr. A. M. Yudkin has reported in 
the American Journal of Ophthahnology and the Archives of Ophthalmology ; 
"Dinitrophenol given in large doses does not produce lenticular changes in 
animals, nor does it aid in the formation of cataracts.” The reports are useful 
in confusing juries. For "experts” testify falsely on their basis that dinitro- 
phenol does not cause cataracts. 

It would be far more salutary if the instigators of this outrage were 
brought to account. But the American Medical Association has built up 
for itself such power and such reputation and odor of holiness and sanctity, 
that it can regard itself immune from legal prosecution. 

During all the time that the columns of the Journal of the A . M. A . 
were stimulating intensively the use of dinitrophenol, never once was it 
hinted that there was any question about the acceptance of the product by 
the Council* Emphasizing the irony of the A, M. A. food and drug "ac- 
ceptance,” the Council announced its "rejection” of the drug after its use 
had been made widespread through its own agencies and by its boss, Fishbein. 
This belated rejection was poor consolation to the blinded victims of the 
poison. 


WHAT PRICE ACCEPTANCE? 

The tale of Dr* Abbott which has been related illustrates one type of 
consideration which might motivate the “acceptance” of a product. A dis- 
tinguished professor, scientist and retired dean of a College of Pharmacy, 
Dr. Henry H. Rusby, recounted to me the following tale which illustrates 
another type of quid pro quo, in the "acceptance” game. 

President Joseph M. Flannery of the Standard Chemical Company of 
Pittsburgh, American producer of radium, summoned the doctor to an urgent 
conference, in 1913. He was very much upset because the A. M. A. had 
refused to "accept” the American-produced radium products, and the claims 
made for them, in spite of the fact that Madame Curie had pronounced them 
to be fully up to standard. He despaired because a large investment was at 
stake and depended upon the "acceptance” of the Association* 

"There can be no question about the quality of the product,” he 


79 



told the doctor. "I have tried to do everything possible to induce Dr. 
Simmons to grant us acceptance, without any success .' 9 

" Everything f” asked the doctor. “Is there not something that you 
have left undone ?” 

“But I would not dare to do that/' said Mr. Flannery* “I would 
be afraid that I would be thrown out on my ear.” 

“Then do not say that you have tried everything,” replied the doctor. 
After a few moments, the idea sank home, and with sudden resolve Mr. 
Flannery swore, ‘TU be if I don’t.” 

Two weeks later, the doctor again stopped off at Pittsburgh and found 
a jubilant Flannery. His product had been promptly approved and “ac- 
cepted.” 

When the bosses of the Association were thus “induced” to accept the 
products of the firm they “went the whole hog.” They accepted all the 
products. Included among the products thus accepted was a dilute solution 
of radium salts for internal consumption. This product, with the others 
was extensively advertised in the Journal of the A . M. A . and its use recom- 
mended to the medical profession. 

This “accepted” radium drinking water has proved to be so highly poison- 
ous and deadly that its use has been barred by law and by health authorities, 
after many deaths had occurred from its use. To cap the climax, Fishbcin 
then editorially attacked the water, conveniently ignoring the fact that his 
A. M. A. Council had “accepted” it. 

RESTRAINT OF DRUG TRADE 

Steadily during the past three decades the monopolistic restraint of the 
American Med ical Association over medical advertising to the profession and 
to the public has become more absolute. At the same time it also has become 
progressively less fair, less honest and more arbitrary in its attitude toward 
the manufacturer. This is illustrated by some of the grounds for rejection 
of products, the conditions for acceptance, and the actions taken. 

The applicant for “acceptance” of a product must agree, in advance, that 
the Association will not be held legally liable for any damage sustained as 
a result of its actions. It is doubtful that such a stipulation barring redress 
would be ruled legal by the courts in case of tort or libel. But in case 
of legal contest, the manufacturer stands at so great a disadvantage with 
regard to medical and public opinion that even if he should win a lawsuit his 
financial losses would overshadow his gains. 

The pharmaceutical manufacturers, like the rank and file of the medical 
profession, are deprived by the A. M. A. of their constitutional rights by this 
racket that does not trouble itself to stay within the skirts of the law in its 
coercion and restraint. Charges of monopoly in restraint of trade have been 
brought against the American Medical Association before a U. S. Senate 
Committee in 1930; and similar charges against Dr. Morris Fishbein and 
his Association were brought before the Federal Trade Commission, in 1931. 
It is a tribute to the power exercised by the A. M. A. that these obviously 
true charges have come to naught. 



Grounds for rejection arising from the character or quality of a drug 
preparation and from its lack of medicinal value are understandable. But 
the Association and the Council have fashioned additional arbitrary rules, of 
which the following are samples, for clubbing manufacturers and dominating 
their business: 

1. The A. M. A. and its Council assume the right to dictate the name 
under which a drug preparation is marketed, and of arbitrarily ordering a 
change of name. 

2. A drug product may be rejected no matter how valuable it may be, 
if it has been developed and marketed by a firm that has not submitted its 
other products for “acceptance,” or if the Council has chosen to reject other 
of its products. 

3. Drug firms may not use in their advertising or literature reference to 
the scientific work of any investigator who is not a member of the A. M. A. 
or approved by it; and everything must be submitted for censorship to the 
A. M.A. This rule is especially severely applied to prevent dissemination of 
knowledge of nonsurgical methods of treatment of conditions for which sur- 
gery has been made accepted practise. 

The first rule serves the purpose of turning over the business of a firm to a 
competitor, or of forcing a firm to enormously increase its advertising ex- 
penditures. 


A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME 

An instance of arbitrary order of change of name of a product by the 
Council as a condition for “acceptance” and access to many of the advertising 
media of the country, is “ An tip hlogi srine.” This product is a heat- retaining 
substance impregnated with counter-irritants* Its use is external; it has been 
in general use by the medical profession for a longer time than the American 
Medical Association has existed ; and the results of its use have been uni- 
formly satisfactory. Under these circumstances there would appear to be no 
reason why the firm should not be permitted to continue to serve the pro- 
fession and the public. 

The A* M. A. and its Council, however, demanded as a condition for 
“acceptance” that the name of the product be changed to “cataplasma kaolini.” 
This would have involved loss of the “good- will” entailed in the name 
“Antiphlogistine,” that had been built up in a period of more than half a 
century of service to the public and the profession and through the expendi- 
ture of a fortune in advertising. It would have meant abandoning a part 
of the trade and market built up by the firm to competitive firms who would 
have the privilege of marketing a similar product under the same name. The 
competitive firms would benefit from the advertising which the firm would 
be compelled to place in order to acquaint its following with the new name. 
The chief beneficiaries of the A. M. A* ukase would have been its own ad- 
vertising business and the businesses of the competitors thus favored by the 
Association. 

Arbitrary orders of change of name are becoming more frequent; and 


81 



failure to comply by the prejudiced firm is becoming more often the basis 
of “rejection” of drug products. One such recent order resulted in barring 
the Abbott Laboratories from continued advertising of one of its products 
originally marketed under the trade-marked name “Nembutal,” within a 
short time after the death of "Doc” Simmons. 

DEPRESSION-PROOF "BUSINESS” 

The A. M. A. and its bosses have seized tremendous commercial power 
through the testimonial rackets. As their domination of the drug industry 
has become more absolute and arbitrary, the opportunities for making it 
profitable have proportionately increased. The annual report and balance 
sheet of the American Medical Association amply attest to this. For the 
year 1936 the Association reported a new high, one million four hundred 
thousand dollars, in its steadily rising profits that were in no wise checked 
by the depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association has 
become one of the most lucrative advertising media in the country. The 
powers which they exert over the drug industry are sufficient to insure its 
journals as much advertising revenue as they desire. There is nothing to 
indicate that advertising is the sole source of profits derived from the mon- 
opoly set up by the Association; or that all the profits which accrue from 
it are to be found in the balance sheet of the Association. 

"DIGGING UP” ADVERTISING 

An illustration of how the A. M. A. can increase its revenue is the ex- 
perience of the firm of * & Co. The full name is omitted be- 

cause the firm fears the reprisals of the A. M. A. and threatened to deny 

the story if their name is mentioned. & Co. manufacture and 

market through their pharmaceutical division some of the most reliable en- 
docrine gland products available on the market. In the past they have 
marketed and advertised these products without making any assertions or 
claims of curative or therapeutic value. Their labels merely stated the 
gland from which the preparation had been made and the method used in its 
manufacture. No policy could be regarded as more ethical or honest; and 
none could better serve the interest of the public and of the medical pro- 
fession. 

But the ethical marketing policy of — & Co. did not serve the 

interest of the American Medical Association and its bosses, For * 

& Co. found it unnecessary to push their products in expensive advertising 
campaigns. Their quality was known to the profession and their honest 
labels served to sell them without high pressure advertising. As a conse- 
quence the American Medical Association did not get much of the * 

income through the route of its advertising department. 

The representatives of the A, M. A. openly pressed the Com- 

pany for more advertising business. They made no headway, because the 

honest policy of in making no therapeutic claims for their products 

made them invulnerable to intimidation, coercion and other forms of racket- 
eering. 

A new line of approach to 


*s advertising funds was then laid. 



The company was given to understand that it was expected to make claims of 
curative or therapeutic value for its products as a condition for their ac- 
ceptance. The object of this ultimatum, which negates completely all prin- 
ciples of the "ethics ’ * of drug marketing laid down by the Association itself 
and violates the interests of the public by encouraging self-medication, was 
quite apparent to the officers of & Co. 

"They are trying to get us out on a limb,” said a spokesman of the 
company, "by forcing us to make claims for our products. They will 
then be in a position to force us to take as much advertising as they 
wish.” 

Nevertheless, & Co. did not dare to disobey the ukase. They 

are now making a gesture in the direction of therapeutic claims on such 
products as adrenal cortex. The inside covers of the boxes now bear the 
legend: "Uses, pernicious vomiting of pregnancy” 

THE A. M. A. AVENGES ITS HENCHMEN 

The adrenal cortex hormone is so important a substance that it has de- 
servedly been given the name "vital hormone.” It was originally isolated 
by several workers including Stewart and Rogoff, Hartman and others about 
1928, Commercial preparation of a highly purified product was made 
possible by the findings of Drs. Swingle and Pfiffner of Princeton University; 
and they sold the patent covering their method of preparation to Parke, 
Davis & Co. 

When Professor Swingle and his co-workers obtained their patent, per- 
sonal jealousy between the groups of research workers flared up into venom- 
ous hatred. The A. M. A. sided with a member. The product was rejected 
by the Council without consideration of the facts and with deliberate dis- 
tortion of the truth. Advertisement of the products was barred in all the 
journals and magazines dominated or influenced by the A. M. A. The 
editor of Science, Dr. J. McKeen Carttell, announced that he would not ac- 
cept any further publications on the subject after the appearance of important 
initial reports. 

How thoroughly intimidated are even the reputable drug houses by the 
A. M. A. is revealed by the fact that Parke, Davis & Co. did not dare to fight 
back at these false and demonstrably malicious attacks on their preparation 
of the hormone in spite of their large investment in it. 

They undoubtedly feared that if it should make any semblance of fight- 
ing back or attempting to defend themselves, the malicious reprisals in other 
directions would follow, which would prove to be even more costly financially. 
The A. M. A. published fictitious analyses of the product which were abso- 
lutely belied by the investigations of some of the most distinguished chemists 
of the land. The product was falsely pronounced to be worthless in publica- 
tions in the A. M. A. journals; and no replies were permitted to enable dis- 
proof of the utterly false allegations. Libellous attacks were made on the 
product in the journals of the Association and in letters written to intend- 
ing users. The market for the product was virtually destroyed. 



“HIGHBINDERS OR RACKETEERS I” 


Mr* Loeser has had the admirable courage to openly expose in a 1936 
publication of his firm named the “ Journal of Intravenous Therapy” the 
“acceptance” tactics of the A. M. A. In an article entitled “State Medical 
Society Protests Misinformation and Misconduct of Council on Pharmacy 
— Expositions of Council Methods & Frauds Perpetrated On the Medical 
Profession,” Mr* Loeser related the experience of his firm. 

Fishbein and his A* M. A* Council on Pharmacy & Chemistry, Mr. 
Loeser reported, had persistently rejected and condemned the products of 
Loeser Laboratories which pioneered in the field of medical preparations for 
injection into the veins. One fine day, the A. M. A. sent an agent to solicit 
advertising for its journals from Loeser Laboratories. 

“We were informed that the Council would accept one product to 
allow advertising in the State Medical Journals. 

"It required acceptance of two to allow advertising in the Journal 
of the A . M> A . 

“The Council informed us that U* S. Pharmacopoeia remedies are 
beyond their scope ... a subterfuge and untruthful . . . clearly indicated 
by the number of U.S.P. products in the New and Non-Official Remedies 
(the list of accepted drugs) some under coined titles, every one a violation 
of the Council rules. 

“They suggested Locser’s Intravenous Solution of Mercury Oxy cy- 
anide and it was 'accepted’ by the Council* . . ■ 

“For approximately three years Loeser pharmaceuticals were adver- 
tised in many of the State Medical Journals. 

“Having in mind statements of the Council regarding the rules, 
we were astounded by the Council’s acceptance of a solution of calcium 
chloride with the addition of urea under a non-descriptive title and 
the appearance of the advertising in the Journal of the A.M.A. We 
asked for an explanation, pointing out that this preparation violated the 
rules as to simple scientific solutions and the non-descriptive name. 

“Why should an ethical product be confined to State Medical Journals 
and a non-conforming pseudo -scientific imitation be given an advantage 
in competition? 

“this and other acts of discrimination and later conduct 

CONFIRMED OUR BELIEF THAT DR. FISHBEIN AND THE COUNCIL WERE 
MERELY ACTING AS AGENTS FOR FAVORED FIRMS, 

“The unsatisfactory and evasive replies prompted us to cancel our 
advertising contract with them. 

“highbinders or racketeers”? 

“Shortly after the cancellation of advertising contract the Council 
published in the Journal of the A t M*A. what were purported to be 
refusals to accept several Loeser pharmaceuticals. 

“We present reprint of one regarding Loeser's intravenous solution 
of Calcium Chloride, the advertising of which repeatedly appeared in 



State Medical Journals and the literature approved by the Councils 
own committee. We urge every physician to scrutinize the Council’s 
statements, and compare the numbered paragraphs with our corres- 
ponding numbered statements of facts. By doing so you will realize 
that State Medical Societies act wisely in demanding honest infor- 
mation. It will give a physician a comprehension of the tactics employed 
by this supposedly scientific group. 

“It is hard to see in what manner these activities of the A . M* A . 
differ from the ordinary blackmailing rackets t* 

FISHBEIN NULLIFIES THE CONSTITUTION 

Having tasted the fruits of limited and indirect monopolistic control, 
Fishbein and his Association have conceived grandiose ideas of an absolute 
and direct monopoly of the drug industry. As the first step in such control, 
Morris Fishbein and his cohorts are bending their efforts to throttle scientific 
organizations with the prime purpose of monopolizing completely all avenues 
of publication of matters pertaining to medicine. In this manner they will 
be able to avoid any leak of scientific information to even the scientific groups 
interested; and will be able to completely bar any publicity to the general 
public. 

The first move taken by the Association in the direction of attaining this 
objective that came to the notice of the public was the throttling of the pub- 
lication of a paper on a new synthetic drug by Herman Seydel before the 
Chemical Society at its 1937 convention* Seydels drug is no worse or better 
than numerous drugs extensively advertised in the journals of the A. M. A.; 
and in being non-poisonous it is better than some there advertised. It was 
tested and approved by a number of competent physicians. On the usual 
pretense, protection of the health and lives of the public, Fishbein and his 
clique undertook to abridge the freedom of speech of the members of a 
society which is in no wise connected with the A. M. A. They demanded 
that Seydel be prevented from presenting his paper; and the Society acceded. 

It was amazing indeed, that the press and the Chemical Society tolerated 
this wholly un-American infringement on the rights of others. This act was 
part of a scheme of expansion of the monopoly of advertising and publicity 
and the restraint of the drug and chemical industries. 

FISHBEIN CLAIMS DRUG DICTATORSHIP 

At the Rochester meeting of the American Chemical Society in September 
1937 Fishbein, drunk with the powers which he had been permitted to 
usurp over the chemical and drug industries of the country, threw caution 
to the winds and voiced his ambition and intent to set up for himself an 
absolute monopoly of the drug business. He proposed that the American 
Medical Association, in other words himself, be given control of all medical 
discoveries and patents, and more immediately of the patents which have 
been developed in the universities of the country. 

Patenting of medical discoveries he justified with the statement: “Why 
should . . . a physician give freely to everyone the product of his brain when the 


S5 



state refuses longer to consider him as a philanthropic worker for the benefit 
of mankind?” 

He therefore seeks, he said, to rectify the social injustice to the physician; 
but not by permitting the individual to enjoy the fruit of his research labors. 
He wishes to bar any such contingency because of the “corrupting influence” 
of an honest reward to the individual physician for his labors. Likewise, he 
discerns a “corrupting influence” on universities which hold medical patents 
and enjoy the financial returns therefrom. Industry, he said, certainly cannot 
be trusted. 

Dr. Fishbein can only see one solution for eliminating the corrupting 
influence of the millions of dollars that now flow from medical discovery and 
invention — their diversion into the pockets of his incorruptible self and of his 
clique. He trusts himself alone. 

Even the New York Times which staunchly has supported the medical 
rackets when they do not conflict with the social service, was moved to com- 
ment upon Fishbein’s proposal (September 5, 1937) in the following vein: 

“♦ . ♦ there is no evidence that a virtually monopolistic control by a 

single organization of all meritorious patents taken out by physicians 

and professors in universities is desirable.” 

A NEEDED REFORM IN MEDICAL PATENTS 

A reform in medical patents of another character is urgently needed. Most 
of the essential life-saving drugs that have been developed by recent chemical 
and medical research, such as the gland hormones, have become subject to such 
merciless and intensive exploitation, and the profits demanded by their patent 
owners is so exorbitant, that they are entirely beyond the reach of all but the 
wealthiest patients. In many instances the German Dye Trust and their 
allies alone profit. This situation means the denial of health, sanity and life 
to hosts of ill. 

The solution indicated is the reverse of that advocated by Fishbein, turning 
over the patents to the A. M. A. for exploitation. The patent laws should be 
amended to cause all such patents to revert to the Government for public 
welfare; and to provide a pension for the inventor. France denies any patents 
on drugs. But this is not wise; for it offers no incentive for discovery and 
invention. The patent-pension plan stimulates research and discovery. This 
reform would do more to bring down the cost of medical care than any So- 
cialized Medicine plan, 

NEW JERSEY SOCIETY DEMANDS INVESTIGATION 

Capping the climax of cumulative proof of the utter dishonesty and un- 
trustworthiness of the entire food and drug acceptance racket of the American 
Medical Association is the evidence given by one of the constituent societies 
of the American Medical Association. The New Jersey State Medical Society 
at its annual convention May 2, 1935, adopted a resolution condemning its 
parent organization, the American Medical Association, for racketeering in 
foods and drugs. It read as follows : 

. . Whereas the Committee on Food and the Council on Pharmacy 

86 



and Chemistry, and the Investigations Bureau of the American Medical 
Association have exercised selections unwarrantably in the notices of 
judgment they have published, and have permitted the licensee to use 
their seal on the advertisements of products that are even at the same time 
being successfully prosecuted by libel actions under the Food and Drug 
Law, and 

“Whereas it is our duty as physicians to assume leadership in pro- 
moting free and open discussion of a condition concerning which we 
should have expert knowledge if we had honest information. 

“Therefore, be it resolved that the new jersey state medical 
society do hereby urge and as representative of the ethical physicians of 
the United States do hereby demand a complete Congressional Investiga- 
tion of the enforcement of the present Pure Food and Drug Law, the in- 
vestigating committee to have full power to call individuals and records 
under oath, before any new pure food and drug legislation be enacted by 
Congress. . . 

What could more perfectly prove the corrupt political nature of the 
organization of the American Medical Association than the fact that the 
political bosses of the Association, under Fish bein’ s leadership, barred the 
introduction of this resolution of a constituent society at the annual meeting 
of the Association ? Of equally serious import is the fact that no newspaper 
published these highly important and sensational charges and resolutions, 

A MENACE TO THE PUBLIC 

Enough has been related to indicate that even were the officers of the 
American Medical Association men of the highest integrity, their arbitrary 
control of the drug industry would constitute a menace to the interests of 
the community as unwarranted as are absurd the pretensions of its editor 
and Council to omniscience and infallibility. Such tremendous and arbitrary 
power over an industry, the business of which reaches values of billion > of 
dollars annually with profits which reach hundreds of millions, is beset with 
temptations which few honest mortals could resist. But medical politicians 
and bosses of organized medicine are rarely honest The representatives of the 
A. M. A. openly acknowledged betrayal of public confidence in the hearings 
during the Investigation of the Administration of the Federal Food and Drug 
Act by the U. S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry of the 
Seventy-first Congress. 

The temptation to convert new and important drugs into secret remedies 
to be used for the enhancement of their reputations and incomes is so at- 
tractive to the overlords of medicine that they are making it “accepted 
practice.” The excuse offered the public is that the remedies are undergoing 
clinical testing. The implication is that the rank and file of the profession 
are not competent to judge the effects of drugs on their patients. If that be 
true, they must also be adjudged incompetent to practice medicine; for prac- 
tice requires constant evaluation of the effects of drugs and treatments on 
variably responding patients. The excuse is obviously ^false. 

In the creation of a group of secret remedies the “acceptance” racket is 

37 



now supported by the new Food and Drug Act. Its ridiculous restrictions, 
which mark an extreme swing of the pendulum in the direction of absurd 
caution, bars the public from the benefits of many drugs of the highest 
value unless they pay high fees to medical “leaders” who alone may use them. 
Drugs like histaminase, for the relief of serum sickness and allergy, and cor* 
ticosterone, the active principle of the adrenal gland cortex were widely used 
abroad for many years before they were admitted to use in the U. S. Under 
the impossible terms of our drug act, the introduction of such drugs is long 
delayed and some may never be admitted for use in this country unless the 
A. M. A. and its Council see fit to approve them. The set-up for extortion 
of the public, blackmailing of the drug trade, and monopoly of the industry is 
perfect. As the subsidiaries of the subsidized German Dye Cartel say, only the 
most “efficient” firms will survive. 

What is possibly the most flagrant violation of the interests of the public 
and of the medical profession is the deliberate stimulation by the American 
Medical Association of the use of denatured foods that have been robbed of 
nutrient value, in return for the placement of high-priced advertising in its 
magazines. Thus the American Medical Association, through Dr. A. J. 
Cramp of its Department of Investigation (and Propaganda) offered to 
Dr. Barnard of the Baking Institute, in a statement published in the January 
1925 issue of Baking Technology, to propagandize the medical profession and 
the public and lead them to believe falsely that white bread is “most whole- 
some.” This offer resulted in much high-priced, full page advertising by 
millers and by the American Institute of Baking in the Journal of the A. A. A. 
and its popular magazine, Hygeia. Thus, by betraying the interests of the 
public and its health, and the medical profession, the American Medical 
Association bosses were enabled to tap rich, new sources of revenue and graft. 
The Council on Foods of the Association, naturally, prepared the way for 
the advertising by “accepting” degerminated wheat, bleached with benzol 
peroxide and nitrogen trioxide, as in the case of “Dakota Maid Flour” 
(Journal of the A. M. A. March 13, 1937, page 885). 



CHAPTER VII. 

MEDICAL EDUCATION— A RACKET 


'J’he calibre of medical services rendered to the community is largely 
dependent upon the quality of the basic training which the physician receives 
in the course of his education, and upon the facilities which the graduate 
physician has for keeping abreast of medicine and its advances. It is unfor- 
t unate for the community that both of these processes are so highly com- 
mercialized that they deserve no better designation than rackets* 

In past centuries, a medical student, after receiving fundamental scientific 
instruction, received his training as an assistant to a practicing physician. 
Inasmuch as the practice of medicine is an art which involves flexible appli- 
cation of medical and other sciences, such preceptor training in medicine is 
the only form that is safe or proper. The student receives individual train- 
ing and instruction; and the application of his knowledge is Watched closely 
in order to safeguard the lives of patients entrusted to his care. 

The origin of the modern medical school can be traced to the commercial 
ambition of medical leaders of the past century* Their incomes from teaching 
were often larger than from practice. Thus Dr, David Hosack of New 
York City, reported that in the years 1826 to 1829 he made fourteen hundred 
dollars from his private students and assistants. 

An idea of the relative magnitude of such an income can be sensed from 
the fact that with it Dr, Hosack was able to indulge in the luxury of a 
botanical garden on the site of the New York City Public Library. 

Teaching physicians also observed that their assistants, when launched 
into independent medical practice, continued to call them out on well-paid 
consultations. It dawned upon some of them that if one assistant or student 
would call them on five consultations per year, one hundred medical students 
probably would call them on 500 consultations per year; and their incomes 
and practice would thus be multiplied. The entire history of medicine in the 
U. S, has been characterized by a mad scramble for the commercial profits 
of teaching medicine. This is illustrated by the history of the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. 

HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND 
SURGEONS— COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

The first medical school in New York was that of King’s College (now 
Columbia University) founded in 1768. It was short-lived, because of 
factional strife in medicine in New York City. 

When Dr. Nicholas Romayne, in 1791, requested the Regents of the 
University of the State of New York to supervise his private medical school, 
Columbia University blocked the organization of the school by politics until 
1807. Organized as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Romayne’ s 

S9 



School merged with Columbia University in 1813. Between 1809 and 1814, 
the state approved lotteries for the medical schools. From the lottery of 1809, 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons received five thousand dollars which 
constituted the chief lure for the belated merger. 

Universities have regarded medical schools as good businesses because 
they could be made to pay. But the College of Physicians and Surgeons was 
not much of a financial success for Columbia University. For the cream 
of the profits was drawn off by the professors who collected their tuition 
fees directly from the students. So lucrative was the college to the “pro- 
fessors” that they were willing to lend it twenty thousand dollars out of 
their own purses. Some professors earned as much as $8,000 a year from 
their jobs. 

The large income derived from medical schools by the professors, and 
their unfair competition made possible by the advertising of the school, aroused 
the jealousy of the trustees of the College and of the medical profession. 
Jealous commercial quarrels raged continually between the competing pro- 
fessors over sharing of the money and business, and became public scandals. 

THE WAR OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOLS 

These jealous bickerings reached a climax in 1826. Envy of the large 
professional income of Dr. David Ho sack who represented the socially elite 
element in the community, and of his income from private instruction started 
a war between factions on the faculty of the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons. Charges were brought against him and other professors by the trustees 
of the College which alleged favoritism, misappropriation of funds and op- 
pression. It is interesting to note that several years prior, in 1819, the College 
was charged by the New York City Medical Society with falsification of 
records of students, failure to hold public examinations and favoritism in 
granting degrees to unqualified students. This last charge is interesting 
because the practice still continues. 

As a result of this disreputable conduct the charter of the College was 
amended. The charter originally granted the College made the profession 
and the entire medical society of the city and county of New York the board 
of trustees. In 1816, the number was cut to twenty-one. In 1826, so well 
had the physicians discredited themselves with their bickering that the law 
was amended to require that ten of the trustees be laymen. The appointment 
of these trustees rested with the Regents of the University of the State of 
New York, who negotiated between the College and legislature. The balance 
of power was given by this act to the laymen. 

As remonstrance against the legislation which ousted them from the 
control of the business of the Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Hosack and his 
professors resigned. With a charter secured fiom Rutgers University, they 
proceeded to establish a rival medical school. This was an eloquent com- 
mentary on the political power of Dr. Hosack and his clique. For in earlier 
years they had always succeeded in blocking the establishment of a medical 
school under the Rutgers’ University charter by their rivals. 

The attitude of the “professois’ 1 is revealed by the Regents’ report to the 


90 



legislature on the condition of the school in 1827, which is quoted from the 
report of the Trustees of the College, as follows: 

‘'The unfortunate state of the College during the last winter, with 
the circumstance of another medical school having been established in 
this city, under the patronage of a College in a neighboring state, has 
had an eifect which is to be regretted. To these causes may be ascribed 
the diminished number of students attending the College at this time.” 
. - The College since its re-organization, has gone into operation 
with brighter prospects of success in many respects, than have been 
witnessed in many years. The Professors being now confined to their 
proper sphere of teaching, have no longer the power nor the disposition 
to interfere with the government of the College. Thus discord, sus- 
picion and strife have given way to harmony, confidence and good 
feeling.” 

In the following years, 1828 and 1829, the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons found itself in dire straits. It was indebted to its former pro- 
fessors to the extent of twenty thousand dollars. It called upon the New 
York State Legislature to aid by paying off the debt and by denying a 
charter to the competitive Rutgers Medical College. The professors alleged 
that the rival professors would use the money paid them to drive the Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons out of business. The Hosack group replied that it 
was the superiority of their medical school that was driving the Physicians 
and Surgeons out of business. By 1830, the Rutgers Medical College closed 
its doors. 

During all this pass age- at-arms and “conflict of ideals” of these mer- 
chants-in-medicine, never once were the interests of the public or of the stu- 
dents considered. Instead, a higher income was assured to the professors 
from the tuition fees of fifteen dollars per course, by inaeasing the length 
of attendance required to two years. During both years the students were 
compelled to attend the same course of lectures, 

DIPLOMA MILLS MULTIPLY 

The situation in medical education in New York was characteristic of 
the situation in other sections of the country. The large incomes of “pro- 
fessors” tempted doctors to start new medical schools to amplify their other- 
wise meagre incomes. Those physicians who succeeded in getting into the 
medical “education” racket sought to make a monopoly of the business and 
to keep out rivals. 

The dawn of the era of “big business” discovered medical leaders launch- 
ing upon “big business” in medicine. In the last decades of the nineteenth 
century and in the early decades of the present century, medical schools 
grew like mushrooms, overnight, in all sections of the country. In these 
schools, classes containing as high as 200 to 300, or more, students were 
not at all unusual. Teaching was conducted on a lecture and quiz basis. The 
Vogue was then established which still persists in medical education. 

The art of medicine, upon which human lives depend, is made the subject 
of rote learning and dependent upon the chances of examination There 


91 



was no valid effort to make sure that these future practitioners had mastered 
the skill and the knowledge necessary for the protection of the lives of their 
patients. These schools were highly successful, however, in building up 
enormous practices and incomes for their medical bosses. 

A further step in the development of the medical education racket was 
the ‘'diploma mill.” These institutions gave concrete expression to the ob- 
vious fact that attendance in crowded classes to hear lectures on diseases 
and their remedies is of no value in the learning of the art of the practice 
of medicine. Facing the situation with greater candor than their com- 
petitors, the schools issued medical diplomas to applicants who were willing 
to pay the price, without requiring that the applicant even attend the school. 

It is seriously to be questioned whether these diploma mills did not turn 
out greater physicians than did their competitors. Thus the Rush Medical 
College of Chicago gave a degree to George H. Simmons while he was prac- 
ticing as an advertising quack many miles away in Lincoln, Nebraska. It 
thus supplied the medical profession with the man who revitalized its august 
and authoritative A. M. A* 

MEDICAL EDUCATION AND THE ROCKEFELLERS 

Competition became extremely keen in this medical school business. As 
a consequence the overlords of medicine found that they were not gaining 
the full advantage which they had hoped from their medical schools* They 
thereupon set about establishing a monopoly of the medical school business 
and wiping out their competitors. 

The merchants-in-medicine, organized in the A. M. A., found allies in 
their fellow merchants in industry at the beginning of this century. It is 
peculiarly fitting that the agency that enabled them to monopolize the field 
of medicine and its education should be the General Education Board, an 
outgrowth of Doc William Rockefeller’s quack cancer cure and medicine 
show. 

A joint investigation into the medical schools of the country by Abraham 
Flexner was instituted about 1910. There ensued a publicity campaign of 
calumny and slander directed against medical schools in which the socially 
elect political bosses of medicine had no interests. The competing schools 
were represented as low grade and inferior. While it is true that the Standards 
of some of them were low, few were lower in calibre than many of the 
schools which were sponsored by the bosses and Investigators and approved 
for that reason. Over half of the 165 medical schools of the country were 
forced to close their doors. The balance of the medicat schools were left 
in monopolistic control of medical education. 

This manoeuvre left the remaining schools under heavy debt to the 
Rockefeller group and their General Education Board. By judicious subsidy, 
this debt has been converted to a highly profitable, dictatorial control of the 
medical schools of the country by the Rockefellers and allied financial in- 
terests, and by subsidiary social service groups. 

MEDICAL EDUCATION PERVERTED TO PROPAGANDA 

This control of medical education and research has brought large divi- 


92 



dends for the relatively minor funds invested* Among these dividends aje 
the intangible items: allaying of public resentment and antagonism, and 
public good-will gained through proper publicizing of these virtuous ac- 
tivities; the earning of good-will through provision of comfortable berths, 
professorships, research positions, and others, for dependents of folks of in- 
fluence or of associates; quite as important, if not more so, the power to 
eliminate individuals or groups of individuals, who insist upon telling the 
truth as they see it and thereby jeopardize the monetary interests of these 
powers* By alliance with religious institutions and missions abroad, they were 
enabled to penetrate and gain the good-will of foreign lands for the fur- 
therance of trade, commerce and oil. 

Some of the dividends, however, were more tangible and far exceeded 
the value of the supposed philanthropies. Among these were: the control 
and manipulation of the vast funds and endowments of the schools and uni- 
versities; profits derived from licit and illicit enterprises, such as the milk 
racket, the drug monopoly and oil concessions, which were given prestige bv 
the support of the prostituted institutions and their professors; and a very 
profitable control of medical and allied businesses. 

It has also enabled the group who control the Foundation and other Rocke- 
feller agencies to plant in universities as professors, propagandists who serve 
their interests. Thus the Foundation has endowed the Institute of the History 
of Medicine of Johns Hopkins University at the head of which has been placed 
the German propagandist of the Bismarxian program of Socialized Medicine 
and Compulsory Health Insurance, Professor Henry E. Sigerist. With Pro- 
fessor C. E. A. Winslow he has been one of the most active agitators for the 
program which is so eagerly desired by the German Dye Trust and their 
Rockefeller allies. 

From the subsidized group of professors there was recruited the 1 'Commit- 
tee of 430,” It is not a matter of chance that some of the professors are 
leaders of Communist propaganda. Thus Dr, A. E. Blumberg of Johns 
Hopkins University has been cited by the Dies Committee as the secretary 
of the District of Columbia-Maryland branch of the Communist Party, 
Professor Franz D. Boas of Columbia University is reported by Walter 
Winchell to be the head of the Communist cabal organized to discredit John 
Edgar Hoover and the F, B. I. His son, Dr. Ernest Boas, assistant pro- 
fessor of clinical medicine of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Colum- 
bia University, leads the pseudo-liberal element in the medical profession of 
New York in its campaign for the adoption of Socialized Medicine, and is a 
Prominent leader in Organized Social Service. 

These professors have organized an intensive campaign of propaganda 
'vhich follows closely the party-line of the Bismarxian or Communazi dogma. 
They do this with the support of Organized Social Service and with the aid of 
subsidies from pseudo-philanthropies and of associated commercial interests 
Under the auspices of an advisory board consisting of members of the Com- 
mittee of 430, there is issued, as a vehicle of propaganda among medical stu- 
dents, a monthly magazine, The Journal of the Association of Medical Sin - 


93 



dents, which is distributed free of charge to the students. On the advisory 
board of the Journal are the following: 

Charles Sumner Bacon, M.D,, University of Illinois; Emmet Bay, M.D., 
Rush Medical College; Hugh Cabot, M.D,, University of Minnesota; Walter 
B. Cannon, M.D., Harvard University; A, J. Carlson, M.D., Rush Medical 
College; Lewis A. Conner, M.D., American Heart Journal ; David J* Davis, 
M.D., University of Illinois; Reginald Fitz, M.D., Boston University; J. F. 
Fulton, M- D,, Yale University; Harold Edward MacMahon, M.D., Tufts 
College; James H. Means, M.D., Harvard University; Adolf Meyer, M.D., 
Johns Hopkins University; Joseph Earle Moore, M,D., Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity; Harry S. Mustard, M,D,, New York University; Thomas Parran, 
M.D,, U, S, Public Health Service; John P. Peters, M.D., Yale University; 
G. Canby Robinson, M.D., Johns Hopkins University; Martha Tracy, M.D., 
Womans Medical College of Penna.; Maurice B. Visscher, M.D., University 
of Minnesota; C. E. A. Winslow, D.P.H., Yale University; George B. Wis- 
lock:, M.D., Harvard University. 

“ENDOWMENTS” AND MEDICAL EDUCATION COSTS 

The medical school business under such control has become a highly 
lucrative business in more than one way. The greater the investments, or 
“endowments,” of the medical schools have become, the higher are the 
tuition fees demanded of the individual medical students. Tuition fees in 
medicine range as high as seven hundred dollars. The greater the sums con- 
tributed for “the improvement of medical education,” the higher has become 
its cost to the student. There is about the highly endowed medical schools, 
little of the altruism which they demand of their students — they are becoming 
increasingly, purely commercial institutions bent on charging all that the 
traffic will bear. 

MONOPOLY OF MEDICAL EDUCATION AND OF THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE 
IS NOW, AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, THE GOAL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND 
THEIR CLIQUES. 

The number of students admitted to the medical schools has been steadily 
reduced and restricted to the men whom these cliques choose to admit. They 
pretend to desire students who will not follow the example of intensive 
commercialism given them by the schools, and improvement of the calibre 
of the medical graduate. This is belied by the basis of choice of students. 
Two of the most important considerations are wealth and social position, and 
Aryanism. The non- Aryan quota system has rapidly degenerated into a 
method of blackmailing the Jewish applicants to the average tune of one 
thousand dollars for admission in many institutions; and in due time, this 
easy money racket has been extended to all applicants for admission. The 
restriction of medical education to rich “gentlemen of leisure” usually spells 
no good for the average public. 

THE LAW AND MEDICAL EDUCATION 

The bosses of medicine collaborated with the A. M. A. and established 
minimum standards and requirements for medical schools which were suc- 


94 



cessively incorpo rated into the law of the various states. Under these laws, 
they appointed themselves, or had themselves appointed, the dictators of 
medical education and licensure in their respective states. They invariably 
arranged to have the medical schools in which they had vested interests in- 
cluded in the list of legitimate institutions. But this does not mean to say 
that their schools made any attempt to comply with the minimum requirements 
which they set up in the law. 

Thus, as late as 1917, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia 
University, a school rated high in the Flexner report, failed utterly to teach 
at least two subjects required by the Medical Practice Act of the State of 
New York. But its Dean, Dj\ Samuel Lambert, was a member of the 
Medical Board of Regents, who controlled medical education in the State of 
New York. 

I recall, with excellent reason, the calibre of instruction which students 
received in that school. The most illustrative incident occurred in my senior 
year at the school. My section of the class was assigned for “instruction” in 
surgery to the Presbyterian Hospital. Our instructor was a Fellow of the 
American College of Surgeons, a man more distinguished for his social and 
financial affiliations than for his competence as a surgeon. Without the 
former, he would have been quickly denied the opportunity to operate, as an 
incompetent. He has his incompetence and his social and financial position 
to thank for the fact that he was “kicked upstairs” and made the executive 
head of a surgical department. 

Our instruction consisted in watching him operate. It was barbarous. 
Three patients died on the operating table under his knife in one session 
because of egregious blunders and gross carelessness. I dreaded to think 
that life could be sacrificed so cold-bloodedly to such absolute and unbelievable 
incompetence. 

Reassigned to the same instructor on the following day, I sat with fellow 
members of the section in a room reserved for students, that was separated 
by a partition from the hospital library. We guardedly voiced our opinions 
and our horror at the deaths we had witnessed on the previous day; and 
speculated on the possibility of a repetition of the incident. Before long, a 
patient passed on the way to the operating room, the first victim of the day. 
When he had passed I remarked to my fellow students — “More sheep to the 
slaughter.” Much to our embarrassment, the instructor in question bounded 
out of the adjoining library room and disappeared. 

A few minutes later, I was summoned to the office of the Superintendent 
of the Hospital. The instructor had accused me of making the above-stated 
remark to the patient. I was suspended and ordered to report to Dean 
Lambert. This was within two weeks of graduation. 

On reporting to the Dean, he informed me that I was suspended, and 
would not be permitted to take the examinations or to graduate. I heatedly 
challenged his statement. He thereupon pronounced me to be mad. Fearing 
little whatever truth there may have been to his remark, I offered to submit 
that question to a competent psychiatrist of his own choosing. 

Fortunately, the psychiatrist let me off. I passed my examinations with 


95 



flying colors, and even received an offer of an appointment in the department 
of neurology and psychiatry. Thus ended my first tilt with organized medi- 
cine and the hospital system. 

Upon passing my State Board examinations, I bethought myself of the 
deficiencies of the medical education which I had survived, I notified the 
State Board of Medical Regents of the failure of my alma mater to comply 
with the Medical Education Act. Shortly thereafter Dr. Lambert was no 
longer Dean or Regent. 

The calibre of the control of medical education is made even more apparent 
by a recent incident also involving the New York State Board of Medical 
Regents. Its secretary, Dr. Harold Rypins was named in connection with 
“fixing” for a highly organized abortion racket. He died of angina pectoris 
in the home of an Assistant Attorney-General assigned to the Board who was 
also accused. In the hands of men of this type lies the control of medical 
education, licensing and “ethics” in all sections of the country, 

“RISING” STANDARDS OF MEDICAL EDUCATION 

The monopoly of medical education has not resulted in any material 
improvement in calibre or mode of instruction. It is motivated by the same 
objective, the building up of large teaching incomes and lucrative consultant 
practices for the professors and instructors. It is unfortunate that the 
privileges and advantages of teaching medicine in the medical schools and 
universities is, as frequently as not, a matter of nepotism or of outright pur- 
chase. And it is relatively seldom dependent upon superior ability or su- 
perior knowledge of the subject taught. The subdivision of medical and 
surgical teaching into narrow specialties facilitates the distribution of the 
personal advantages which might be derived from the medical schools among 
a larger group of favored sons. 

The calibre of teachers in some phases of medicine is inconceivably low. 
Some subjects, such as otology, the study of diseases of the ear, require 
knowledge of the sciences. It is doubtful if there are more than a half 
dozen professors of otology in the universities of the country who have 
sufficient basic training in the physical sciences to understand the subjects 
which they are supposed to teach. 

The present-day medical school differs little from the proprietary and 
commercial medical school of the earlier days. Nowadays there is a bit more 
individual instruction and practical experience in diagnosing and treating of 
patients. 

There has recently been added to the medical course, in most States, a 
fifth year devoted to internship. Internship in a large hospital does not imply 
effective instruction in the art of medicine. The greater part of the intern 
year is spent by the student in the mechanical routine of a large hospital. 
The larger the hospital, the more effectively is the intern reduced to the 
role of a cog in a machine. For the privilege of doing the servile tasks of the 
hospitals interns are now compelled to pay high tuition fees into the coffers 
of medical schools. 


96 



OBJECTIVES OF MODERN MEDICAL EDUCATION 

The prime objectives of medical education and the mode of instruction 
in the present-day monopolistic medical schools remain essentially the same 
as they were in the days when the schools were frankly commercial. 

The student is not taught so much that he will not be forced to call his 
instructor into consultation when he graduates and enters practice. 

Mass classroom instruction, which must be set at the pace of the mediocre 
student, helps to insure against effective instruction. 

The subdivision of medicine into specialties involves the endless repe- 
tition of elementary and readily learned ideas, and consumes the time which 
might be spent in acquiring a rounded knowledge. 

Lectures by the hour are given by professors and instructors who are too 
busy with their medical practices to keep abreast of advances in medicine. 
These lectures are often of very low quality, and are generally extremely 
fragmentary. They merely rob the student of the time that might be devoted 
to mastering his subject and to acquiring skill in its application. 

Many essential phases of medicine, consigned to the realm of specialties 
and post-graduate instruction, are glossed over and neglected in the training 
of the medical student. But neglect of these subjects insures that the medical 
graduate will be compelled to refer cases of the diseases which have not been 
taught him to the specialist professor or instructor. 

This was stressed by Dr. James Rowland Angell, President of Yale Uni- 
versity, in a recent address made at the installation of President Dr. Frank 
C. Babbott, of the Long Island College of Medicine. He said : 

"I am convinced that the present curriculum of many of our medical 
schools is staggering under a useless legacy of traditional subject-matter, 
which could be curtailed to a great extent. Reorganization of medical 
courses would be a great improvement, and would result in the saving 
of time and energy of the student, and would materially increase his 
actual mastery of the practical problems with which he is later to be 
confronted. It might be necessary to establish a few new chairs; but 
the results would be worth the cost and trouble. 1 * 

NOTABLE ADVANCE— WISCONSIN PRECEPTOR SYSTEM 

There is one notable exception, in this country, to the low calibre of 
medical under-graduate instruction. At the University of Wisconsin, Dean 
Bardeen has honestly and intelligently acknowledged the inadequacy of class- 
room medical instruction, and has restored the “old-fashioned” preceptor 
system. Early in the course of medical training, the students at the Univer- 
sity are sent out to work as assistants to practicing physicians to acquire skill 
in the art of medicine. Dean Bardeen deserves the thanks of the nation if 
this precedent will lead to a break-down of the medical school teaching rackets 
and to the institution of adequate training for the medical students. 

Glenn Frank, as president of the University of Wisconsin, wrote an en- 
thusiastic report of this improvement in medical education for a 1931 issue 
of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine. He related that students of medicine 


97 



of the University were sent as far afield as Chicago to work directly under 
the supervision of practicing physicians. He stated: 

“Students are receiving, in the opinion of many competent observers, 
more careful personal instruction in clinical medicine than is provided 
in any other medical school.” 

NEPOTISM AND FAVORITISM IN MEDICAL EDUCATION 

Within the last several decades, in increasing degree, intelligence and 
aptitude are being eliminated even in the requisites for admission to medical 
schools. Students are selected primarily for religion, wealth, submissiveness, 
subservience, and docility, to insure that they will fit into the corrupt 
system. 

In some of the medical schools that are more completely controlled by the 
foundations and the Bisrnarxian propagandists, adherence to Marxian doc- 
trines is an important consideration for admission. Thus the profession is be- 
coming filled with Communazi propagandists and agents. 

To cap the climax of inadequacy of university medical training, nepotism 
and dishonest practices are still as widespread as they were in the early days, 
in aiding inadequately trained and incompetent students to obtain medical 
degrees. Promotion and graduation are rarely dependent upon a thorough 
knowledge of the subject. They are dependent upon cramming and passing 
examinations. The dishonest practice of giving the favored few, or even 
the favored fraternity, a list of examination questions in advance of the ex- 
amination is not unknown in the medical schools of the country. 

In my last year at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dean Lambeit 
undertook to question the ten highest students in the class, who had been 
included in the honor-roll just read by him, on an elementary subject in 
medicine. The honor-roll students failed ignominiously. They made a dis- 
graceful exhibition from which they were belatedly rescued by loud prompt- 
ings by less favored members of the class. This was condoned and overlooked 
by the Dean, to save his face. 

POST-GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION RACKETS 

Racketeering in medical training does not cease with the undergraduate 
medical school. Although, in theory, graduate medical training might sup- 
plement and correct the inadequacies of undergraduate medical training, this 
is precluded in practice by the intensity of racketeering in the graduate medical 
schools. 

Most of the graduate medical schools are proprietary institutions. In many 
of them, professorships and instructorships in the various subjects have been 
sold to the highest bidder. In some of them, such as College of Physicians 
and Surgeons (which was subsequently merged with the University of Illinois), 
the sale of a job was disguised by the sale of stock in the institution. Dr. 
G. Frank Lydston in his booklet entitled “Why the American Medical 
Association Is Goinq Backward ( a Critique of the Medical Trust )” mentions 
his holdings of the College of Physicians and Surgeons stock. It readily 
can be understood that those who purchase professorships and instructor- 


98 



ships hope to make handsome returns on their investments through consul- 
tations and through the reference to themselves of cases and operations. If 
the subject matter of the specialty should become too widely known among 
practicing physicians, or if the post-graduate students learned too much, the 
chances of a return on the investment would be minimized. Therefore, 
the opportunities offered to physicians for post-graduate and special instruct 
tions are highly restricted. 

For purposes of restriction and monopoly of the specialties, the cost of 
graduate instruction is made high in time and money as compared with the 
means and earnings of the members of the profession. In the graduate 
schools, the bulk of the instruction even in the surgical specialties, which 
especially require actual technical training, practice and experience, is almost 
entirely by lecture and rote. To acquire even this special instruction, a 
physician must give up as much as three years of his time for a single subject, 
and expend thousands of dollars. 

Medical education does not terminate with schooling. Throughout his 
life as a practitioner, a physician must continue his education. Each day 
adds a new bit to the meagre stock of medical science. Medical journals, 
scientific journals, newspapers, books and libraries are essential to the phy- 
sician and to the welfare of the patients who entrust their lives to his care. 
All of these have been converted into rackets by organized medicine. 

ABUSE OF LICENSING POWERS 

For the purpose of holding down competition, the number of students 
admitted to medical training is being severely restricted by organized medi- 
cine. Only a small percent of the total number of acceptable applicants is 
being admitted each year to the medical schools in this country. 

For a time it was pretended that the reason for restriction was the limited 
capacities of the schools. The sham of this pretense became clear when the 
A. M. A. and the licensing boards of the various States that it controls, 
reached overseas and intimidated foreign universities from accepting Ameri- 
can students. The foreign universities were threatened with removal from 
the list of those which are recognized as giving a course acceptable for 
American licensure. It was a neat bit of international blackmail that was 
made possible by the gang's control of the boards that license medical prac- 
tice, Medical licensing powers are as often misused by organized medicine 
today as they were a century ago. History repeats itself. 


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CHAPTER VIII. 


MEDICAL RESEARCH AND THE 
MEDICAL RACKETS 


Jn their “reorganization” of the A. M. A. it was natural that “Doc” 

Simmons and his gang should consider medical research primarily from 
the commercial angles — advertising, publicity and resultant profits- With 
those objectives in mind, they proceeded to fasten their grip on research by 
means of every agency that they controlled* It is not surprising, therefore, 
that supposedly humanitarian research is now often a blind for commer- 
cialism and racketeering. 

The history of the attitude of organized medicine toward medical re- 
search, even before this period, was quite shameful. Few of the significant 
medical discoveries, which were to change the entire future of the field, had 
been made by doctors. The majority of these discoveries were made by 
laymen. 

CONTRIBUTIONS TO MEDICINE BY LAYMEN 

Digitalis, for instance, was given to medicine by herb-women who recog- 
nized the virtue of foxglove concoctions in dropsy. It was pooh-poohed for 
centuries by the stupidly dogmatic and bombastic “doctors” who insisted that 
the empirical and traditional teaching of Hippocrates and Galen embodied 
all that there was to be known about medicine. 

Vaccination that has resulted in the wiping out of the plague of smallpox 
was contributed by the shrewd observation and common-sense of the farmer 
and dairy folks. It was belatedly introduced into medicine by Edward 
Jenner. The “learned” medical profession bitterly opposed its use. 

The germ theory of the origin of disease and vaccination against rabies 
were contributed by a chemist, Louis Pasteur. 

MEDICAL “LEADERS” RIDICULED PASTEUR 

The recent dramatization of the life of Pasteur has focused public at- 
tention on the hard path that confronts a research worker striking out into 
untrodden fields of science. Pasteur was fortunate in that he lived to see 
his work accepted, his struggles vindicated, and to enjoy the relatively scant 
and belated rewards of a scientist. He was fortunate in that the persecution 
to which he was subjected merely caused an apoplectic stroke and partial 
paralysis. Semmel weiss, who discovered the origin of childbirth fever, was 
of weaker fiber. He was driven to raving insanity by the bitter persecution 
of his ignorant and intolerant confreres. 

The discoveries of Pasteur were so patently correct that they are now 
accepted as obvious and axiomatic. It helps in understanding the mechanism 
whereby “leaders” of medicine mislead their colleagues and the public into 


100 



believing untrue what Is obviously true, and vice versa, to consider Pasteur's 
experiences. 

The performance is as absurd as that of Fetruchio, who in taming 
Katherine, the shrew, compelled her to call white “black” and black “white.” 
The misleaders of medicine “tame” the balance of the profession. They 
exert over the profession a control gained by fair means and foul, to be used 
for whatever purposes they wish — often for selfish commercial and malevolent 
purposes. 

The medical and scientific “leaders” of the Academie Francalse labeled 
“false” Pasteur’s magnificent experimental work and his brilliant discoveries 
regarding disease. They did so in spite of the fact that they well knew 
that they were thereby condemning a man far more able and brilliant than 
themselves — a man who had saved for France several industries from dis- 
asters with which they had not been able to cope. 

The proof of his discoveries which Pasteur offered the members of the 
Academie Francaisc is the very proof that we now regard as thoroughly 
convincing. The “Immortals” refused even to glance at it. They insisted, 
without ever looking or listening, that Pasteur could have no proof for what 
they labeled “absurd ideas.” None are more blind than those who will not see. 

The “Immortals” followed a time- honored, traditional method of dis- 
crediting medical discovery. They refused to recognize obvious truth, be- 
cause it stamped them as ignoramuses and fools. It hurt their vanity to be 
taught by a mere chemist. To recognize him and his work would mean 
the surrender of their falsely assumed positions as authorities, and possible 
damage to their practices. 

It is gruesome to think of how many lives were needlessly cut short by 
the ignorance, stupidity, vanity, and greed of the medical “authorities,” the 
“Immortals” of the Academie Francaisc. If souls they had, these “Im- 
mortals” must be well content with the oblivion into which they have 
fallen. For their only alternative is to stand enshrined as samples of the 
blithering idiots who play the game of medical politics and set themselves 
up as “authorities” and false prophets. They have their counterparts in 
each generation of medical politicians. 

SUPPRESSION OF DISCOVERIES COSTS LIVES 

One of the saddest phases of this suppression and persecution of Pasteur 
and of brilliant and capable scientists of each successive generation, is the 
damage done to mankind by the injury Inflicted on these rare individuals. 
Their genius, if fostered and left to roam through the fields of science, 
would save mankind much misery. 

Denied recognition and opportunity to do their work, ridiculed, heckled, 
Persecuted, hampered and tormented by the professional rabble, these geniuses 
wear themselves out by straining at a dual leash — their inner urge, and the 
obstacles thrown in their path by the mercenary pack of asses and hypo- 
crites that constitute professional authorities. 

The world has good reason to be thankful that Pasteur survived these 


101 



obstacles and persecutions with merely a wound, partial paralysis. How 
much greater might have been his attainments and benefactions to mankind 
if he had been spared the need of conflict with “medical authority/' we can 
only surmise. The ideas of a genius and his discoveries may be suppressed; 
or they may be stolen by medical and scientific hijackers. But in practice, 
the world discourages, destroys, and loses the source of this spring of in- 
spired thoughts and ideas. There is no greater enemy of medical science 
and its advance than the established “authority” supported by organized 
medicine. This has been true with rare exceptions throughout history. 

MEDICINE'S IGNORANCE VS. WISDOM OF TRADITION 

In the present century the work of the biologic chemists in the field of 
food and nutrition was ridiculed by organized medicine. Informed and 
thinking men who recognized the value of this work and adopted it in the 
prevention and treatment of human disease, were assailed and labelled 
faddists and quacks. Such men as Bernarr Macfadden and Alfred W. 
McCann have done more to introduce a sane mode of eating and living than 
whole packs of medical “authorities.” With sound common-sense they trusted 
the age-old folklore and tradition of health and medicine, and observation of 
man, and enunciated truths which were not accepted by pompous and dull- 
witted “medical science” until it could understand the confirmation of rats 
and guinea pigs. 

In spite of advances made during the past century, medicine and biology 
have scarcely begun to scratch the surface of their basic sciences. It is upon 
the foundation of these sciences and upon medical research that medicine's 
future of service to mankind depends. There are few, if any, of even the 
commoner ailments of mankind that have been studied more than super- 
ficially by modern medical science. “Colds,” for instance, are little less a 
riddle today, than they were to the primitive medicine of Hippocrates and 
Galen, many centuries ago. The Yogis of ancient India understood them 
better than do our modern “scientists” ; and they taught correctly that proper 
breathing, “Pramayana” they called the exercises, is essential for good health. 
So fundamental a matter as the body’s use and exchange of water, which con- 
stitutes over So percent of its substance, barely has been explored. 

Many of the things which have been accepted as facts by modern medical 
science, on further study and deeper knowledge, have proved to be dan- 
gerous half-truths, or wholly untrue. And on the other hand, many of the 
medical ideas and remedies which have evolved through the ages on the basis 
of clinical observation and judgment have been rejected categorically as 
“empiric” and valueless by young and arrogant “medical science” ; merely to 
be readopted when this pseudo-science had learned enough to realize its errors 
and limitations. 

Numerous such instances might be quoted. Thus ma-huang, an herb 
which has been used by the Chinese since time immemorial, was abandoned 
by modem “scientific” medicine as utterly valueless. Within the past decade, 
Dr. Chen, a young Chinese pharmacologist, isolated from ma-huang one of 
our most powerful and valuable drugs, ephedrine. In addition to a number 


102 



of other valuable actions, ephedrine is now used to cause constriction of 
blood vessels and to control hemorrhage* 

MEDICINE'S INTOLERANCE 

Half a century ago, medical science read with intolerant amusement the 
list of remedies which Macbeth’s witches placed in the cauldron : 

Fillet of a fenny snake, 

In the cauldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 

Adder's fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Today this passage finds its counterpart in the catalogue of any pharma- 
ceutical house marketing biologic and endocrine products. 

These instances might be multiplied indefinitely. But they suffice to 
show how necessary it is for human welfare that medical research continu- 
ously explore new fields of science while not ignoring tradition* 

The meaning of the traditional display of ignorance, bigotry, intolerance 
and stupidity, in opposition to medical discovery becomes more obvious from 
a study of the real and fictitious discoveries that have been accepted quickly 
—sometimes too quickly, 

“DISCOVERERS” OF LIVER THERAPY IN ANEMIA 
The use of liver in the treatment of anemia is an old household remedy 
that was scorned by “scientific” medicine. A number of inquiring students 
in the first two decades of this century confirmed the value of the household 
remedy. Their papers on the subject were barred from effective publication 
in the widely read medical journals controlled by the A. M. A. Dr. Victor 

Heiser states in “You’re the Doctor,” on the authority of the eminent 

pathologist, Dr. Wm. G. MacCallum: 

. . A man named William B. Castle had worked out why people 

would recover from anemia if they ate liver. But he was too late in 

publishing the result of his work.” 

Three medical school professors, Minot, Murphy, and Whipple, whose in- 
fluence in the circles of organized medicine is indicated by their positions, 
announced the " discovery JJ of the value of liver in the treatment of anemia. 
They received a Nobel prize for the <e discovery * ; and drug firms coined for- 
tunes from the sale of liver concoctions. 

“DISCOVERY” OF PNEUMONIA “CURE” 

Medical research institutes became interested in the subject of the 
treatment of pneumonia about two decades ago. Research workers charac- 
teristically remained in the rut of orthodox medical thought regarding in- 
fection and immunity. Dr. Cronin has portrayed in “The Citadel” the 
dangers to which original thought exposes research workers. Diphtheria 


103 



antitoxic serum and the immunologic concepts of Ehrlich have established 
the beaten path for the quest of the means of conquest of infections. Stub- 
bornly and slavishly the workers followed that path in the quest of a serum for 
the treatment of pneumonia. 

It was found at the start that pneumococcus germs could be grouped, on 
the basis of chemical reactions in the test tube, into four groups or types. 
These types were later found to owe their individual peculiarities to the 
overcoat, or capsule, with which Nature provides them. The death-rate 
of the disease caused by these types of germs varies widely. The highest 
death-rate is caused by what is known as group three. 

Serums were prepared for each of these types of germs by their injection 
into horses or rabbits. When patients were treated with them, it was found 
that there was no material difference in the death-rate as compared with 
the untreated cases. 

Though of practically no value in the prevention of death from pneu- 
monia, the serum itself may cause menace to the health and life of the 
patient, as may any other serum. 

The research workers in the field refused to acknowledge the obvious 
failure of the anti- pneumococcus serums. Their position and influence en- 
abled them to maintain themselves as “authorities” and to force the accep- 
tance of their obviously erroneous views. They created numerous refinements 
in the typing of germs which progressively increased the number of types 
from four to over thirty. This enabled them to place the blame for the 
failure of the serum on the method of typing. The greater number of types 
made it more readily possible to manipulate the results obtained in such 
manner as to make the serum appear a bit more successful. But the total 
death-rate of all types of pneumonia was not materially reduced. 

On the basis of this “statistical approach” anti-pneumococcus serum was 
advertised to both the medical profession and the public as a success. The 
scrum was “accepted” by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the 
American Medical Association and gained a place as a supposedly reliable 
remedy. Censorship of medical news in the lay press by organized medicine 
and its allies enabled intensive publicity in favor of the serum. 

PNEUMONIA SERUM BUSINESS 

From the financial viewpoint, anti-pneumococcus serum has been a huge 
success to its marketers. A highly lucrative business in the sale of the 
serum has been built up by a number of drug concerns. Among them is 
Lederle Laboratories which is a subsidiary of American Cyanamid Co. 
Whether one of the earlier sponsors of the serum, the Rockefeller Institute, 
has any of the stock of these concerns among its holdings is not known; 
for the Rockefeller Institute, in sharp contrast with the Rockefeller Foun- 
dation, refuses to publish a list of its stock holdings. 

Especially good business are the sales of the serums to health departments. 
Thus New York, following a campaign in the New York Post, appropriated 
in one year one hundred thousand dollars for the purchase of antt-pneu- 

104 



mococcus serum. Presumably, it was intended for distribution to the needy. 
Lederle Laboratories sold the serum to the City. 

Health departments have established special divisions for pneumonia 
which are charged with the distribution of the serum. The divisions do 
their utmost to make a statistical and business success of the serum. 

There is a surprising uniformity in the price charged for the serum by 
the various manufacturers. Thanks to this price fixing, it has been esti- 
mated that the average cost of serum for the treatment of a case of pneu- 
monia is seventy-two dollars. This cost amounts to almost twice the average 
cost of medical care per family per year. Obviously, serum is a good busi- 
ness proposition. 


A REAL PNEUMONIA REMEDY 

In *937 & group of physicians, among whom was myself, discovered 
that substances of the sulph anil amide group would cut short an attack of 
pneumonia. I subsequently discovered that if a proper diet factor, nicotinic 
acid, is given simultaneously, unbelievable and miraculous cures can be 
effected. I made the discovery on a seventy-two-year-old patient who was 
suffering from what appeared to be a hopeless attack of type three pneu- 
monia. The discovery saved his life. 

It was this finding that constituted the basis for the development in 
England of sulfapyridine, the widely advertised “specific” for pneumonia. 
The use of sulfapyridine, however, is fraught with such dangers as the for- 
mation of kidney stones. It is not nearly as satisfactory as my combined 
use of sulphanilamide and nicotinic acid. 

The development of sulphanilamide and sulfapyridine threatened the 
profits of the manufacturers of the “curative” anti-pneumococcus serum. 
They actually did accomplish the cures that could not be obtained with the 
serum. 

Lederle Laboratories obtained for a time a monopoly of the public sale 
of sulfapyridine in the United States. Since the drug costs about seventy- 
five cents a pound to produce and is sold at the rate of about two hundred 
dollars a pound, the profits are fairly satisfactory from the viewpoint of the 
drug industry. Legal barriers of the Pure Food and Drug Act were con- 
veniently let down for this drug in spite of the fact that it presents some 
menaces to health. Thanks to the influence of the sponsoring financial in- 
terests, the drug received free nation-wide publicity and immediately yielded 
high financial returns. 

Lederle's initial monopolistic control of sulfapyridine proved fortunate for 
the stimulation of continued use of anti-pneumococcus serum. The adver- 
tising and literature that has been issued by the firm creates the impression 
that the serum is essential for the life-saving action of sulfapyridine. The lu- 
crative serum business still thrives. Within one year the Lederle Laboratories 
quadrupled the size of its plant. Now that the serum business is threatened by 
public realization of its lack of value, it is reported that Lederle is considering 
the conversion its plant to the manufacture of explosives. 


105 



PROFITS OF MEDICAL RESEARCH AND THE A. M. A. 

These instances prove how well ‘Doc 57 Simmons and his gang have used 
their control of the A, M. A. to make of medical research a lucrative, sub- 
sidiary, commercial racket. In this activity they have had two important 
allies, drug manufacturers and research foundations. 

The interest of the drug manufacturers in medical research is obvious. 
They seek to increase profits by new discoveries or their suppression. Patents 
and the commercial value of medical research explain why in the past several 
decades medicine's greatest advances have been in the field of chemistry 
and endocrinology. The profits made on the newer chemical and glandular 
preparations are unbelievably large. Thus synthetic male sex hormone costs 
a few dollars a pound to produce and sells by “international agreement , 11 
which means at the behest of the German Dye Trust, at fifty thousand dollars 
a pound. Synthetic thyroxine, an active principle of the thyroid gland, costs 
even less to manufacture and sells at the rate of thirty-five thousand dollars 
a pound. 

The A. M. A. has helped materially in increasing drug profits through 
its "acceptance,” or testimonial, and its advertising rackets. This is well 
illustrated by the case of thyroxine. 

Thyroxine was originally isolated from the gland substance by Dr. Kendall, 
a member of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry. The patents were 
purchased by Squibb & Company. Biologically derived thyroxine sold at the 
price of thirty-five thousand dollars a pound. Professor Harrington, of the 
University of London, first determined the correct formula of thyroxine and 
succeeded in preparing it synthetically and patented the method. Thyroxine, 
synthetically prepared, costs about ten dollars a pound to manufacture. 

False attacks branding the synthetic product as worthless were published 
in journals controlled by the A. M. A. The Council on Pharmacy and 
Chemistry held up the “acceptance” of synthetic thyroxine. 

The patents were sold to a firm which agreed to maintain the price of 
the product at the same level as the biologic product, and to supply it to 
houses which marketed the biologic product exclusively. Synthetic thyroxine 
then was "accepted.” 

New discoveries enable the prcpaiation of thyroxine still less expensively 
from cheese and iodine. The patents are controlled by the German Dye Trust 
and the price of the product is maintained at the same level as the costly 
biologic product. 

COMMERCIAL INFLUENCES IN RESEARCH 

Quite as important as increasing profits, for drug manufacturers, is avoid- 
ance of loss or elimination of competition. For this purpose medical research 
or its publication often must be suppressed. The censorship of medical news 
in the press, that has been jointly established by organized medicine and 
social service, is quite effective in suppiessing the work of the independent 
research worker; and the subsidized worker is readily held in check when 
his results conflict with commercial interests. 


106 



In studies on the influence of proteins on growth, Dr. E. V. McCollum, 
in his “Newer Knowledge of Nutrition," stated that grain proteins are su- 
perior to milk. Dr. McCollum was then made a highly paid research con- 
sultant of the National Dairy Products. In 1914, in the Journal of Bio- 
logxcal Chemistry, he reversed himself and stated that the proteins of grains 
were inferior to milk. In 19x9, their inferiority had dropped to one-third 
or one-half that of milk and eggs. And in 1921, he reported protein of 
milk distinctly superior to that of grains. 

The distinguished pharmacologist, Professor John J. Abel, of Johns 
Hopkins University, delivered before the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, in December, 1933, a presidential address on the 
subject of poisons. He alluded to the poisonous effects of an excess of 
Vitamin D, in pre-presentation releases of his speech to the press. For some 
reason he found it advisable not to include that passage in his address when 
delivered. With the isolated exception of the dispatches of Mr. G. B. Lai, of 
the Universal Service, the passage was omitted from all reports of the speech. 

What may be the possible reasons can be inferred from a consideration of 
the matter. The Steenbock patents for the preparation of Vitamin D con- 
stitute the basis of a large and profitable pharmaceutical business which yields 
a revenue to the University of Wisconsin. Under other patents for en- 
riching bread with vitamin D, held by a baking concern, Columbia University 
receives an income. 

Vitamin D may cause damage to the brain and idiocy in the infant by 
premature ossification of the sutures of the skull; or by ossification of the 
kidneys cause death. In the adult, when continually ingested in even mod- 
erate doses, it may cause arteriosclerosis and chronic catarrhal affections. 

Those papers which published the reports of Professor Abel's unread 
statements on the dangers of vitamin D, received protesting letters from the 
company marketing vitamin D bread. These letters protested against the 
damage done them by the publication of the truth regarding the dangers of 
an excessive intake of vitamin D. The bakery letter was accompanied by 
an ambiguous and evasive letter by Dn E. V, McCollum, professor at Johns 
Hopkins University, who is now employed by various concerns engaged in 
the marketing of food. 

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES OF ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE 

The commercial interests and alliances of research institutions arc less 
obvious but are quite as real as those of the drug manufacturers, when they 
are not identical. The establishment of the Rockefeller Institute marked 
the firm saddling of big business and its methods on medical research. From 
the start an alliance was formed with the American Medical Association. 

An amusing story is told concerning the establishment of the Institute, 
The expose of the methods which signalized the development of the Standard 
Oil fortunes, at the turn of this century, had made life dangerous and in- 
tolerable for John D. Rockefeller and his family, and had made of his name 
an anathema, John D. decided that something must be done to make himself 
more palatable to the public. 


107 



At this juncture, Fred T\ Gates entered as almoner and publicity agent, 
to gild and varnish the name of Rockefeller. He was told, according to 
reports, that any sums expended in the process must bring financial returns 
equal to those which would be earned by the same sums invested in oil 
enterprises. John D. was in a position to know that it could be done in the 
medical business. His father, “Doc” William A. Rockefeller, had earned 
a living with his petroleum oil, quack, patent cancer cures and medicine 
shows. 

Aside from the political and diplomatic advantages derived by the Rocke- 
feller interests from the Institute, that have been recounted, it is obvious 
that they receive rnore direct and tangible returns from it. The Institute 
denies that it receives any royalties from the medical discoveries, drugs and 
processes that are patented by it. But that does not mean that it does 
not receive payment in stock of the licensed companies and dividends from 
such stock. The refusal of the Rockefeller Institute to make public its stock 
holdings make it impossible to determine this. 

At any rate the Standard Oil interests and the Institute derive revenues 
from holdings of chemical and dye stocks. This includes holdings in the 
German dye trust, the I. G. Farbenindustrie and others, that interlock with 
the entire mesh work of chemical industries. The Rockefeller interests were 
represented by Walter C. Teagle, of the Standard Oil of New Jersey, on 
the board of directors of the American I. G. which interlocks ownership 
with many of the leading “American” drug companies. 

ANTI-VENEREAL DRUG AND BLINDNESS 

An interesting drug from the viewpoint of the present anti-venereal cam- 
paign is tryparsamide. According to the legend appearing on the packages, 
it is “manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., . . . under license of the Rocke- 
feller Institute For Medical Research.” Tryparsamide is a dangerous ar- 
senical product, the use of which had been abandoned by Paul Ehrlich, its 
discoverer, many years ago because it so frequently causes hopeless blindness 
by optic nerve atrophy. In spite of its dangerous character it is being ex- 
tensively used in the current anti-syphilis campaign, though it possesses no 
proved advantage over many safer arsenical preparations. Eye specialists 
are employed in the venereal clinics to watch for signs of blindness in patients 
being treated with tryparsamide. 

JEALOUS INTRIGUE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH 

Some perspective of the situation in medical research can be gained from 
a report prepared by Dr. S. S. Gold water on the subject of the All-Union 
Institute of Experimental Medicine at Leningrad (published in Science , Vol. 
79, p. 206.) 

“Bureaucratic dangers are encountered in every large organization, and 
it requires the utmost vigilance to avert them. I have no doubt that 
at the institute at Leningrad, precautions will be taken to prevent the 
blighting influence of too rigid control of the younger workers by leaders, 
however eminent, whose interests are fixed upon untimely or passing 


108 



phases of science. I could point to scientific centers in other countries, 
where there has grown up among those occupying ranking positions an 
unfortunate sense of self-satisfaction, an inclination to continue in well- 
worn grooves and a disposition to look with suspicion upon resourceful 
thinkers and workers, who, for personal, social, or political reasons have 
not commended themselves to those in charge as congenial co-workers. 
No one knows what science and humanity have lost through the failure 
of the civilized countries of the world to provide adequate opportunities 
for all their budding geniuses.” 

Dr. Goldwater’s report depicts mildly the havoc that has been wrought 
in medical science by the research racket. Sinclair Lewis’s “Arrowsmith” de- 
picts the rare exception of the medical research worker who succeeds in 
overcoming the obstacles placed in his way by the racket. 

The capable and fertile research worker in medicine, as in other fields, 
is the exception and a relative rarity. He differs from the average run of 
graduates in medicine in that he possesses a knowledge of the subject deep 
and wide enough to realize its limitations, has energy and ambition enough 
to attempt to override those limitations, and possesses an imagination vivid 
enough to discern the means and methods of so doing. Thus he is by nature 
a rebel against accepted medical thought, which of necessity implies a conflict 
with established medical authority. 

As if this were not sufficient handicap for the ambitious medical research 
worker, many other medical and social service, political obstacles are placed 
in his way today. It has been related how research and discovery, honest or 
faked, has come to be regarded as having direct or indirect commercial, 
advertising and publicity value, and as such it is jealously coveted by the 
political bosses of medicine for themselves, and equally fiercely resented and 
disparaged in others. 

This situation was aptly described by Dr. Ellice McDonald, director of 
the Biochemical Foundation, in a paper read before the Franklin Institute 
on December 12, 1936. 

“I have found,” he stated, “that the University men who made up 
the workers (of university research laboratories) were very jealous of 
their plans and results, as they considered their advancement in the uni- 
versity to be dependent upon their reputation as gained by publication, 
and their results were their stock in trade . The jealousies and antagonism 
of the cancer research workers in this country have delayed the cure 
of cancer many years.” 

This last idea of antagonism was more clearly expressed by William M. 
Malisoff, Editor of Philosophy of Science, in a letter to the New York Times . 
He wrote: 

“How can wc leave the struggle (of medical research) to scattered 
individuals and small ill -supported groups who just plainly hate one 
another!*' 

But the solution which he offered was quite absurd and would merely 
aggravate the condition. Instead of suggesting some method of creating com- 


109 



plete freedom of research MaHsoff revealed his totalitarian bent by advocating 
the destruction of freedom and the substitution of Committee control that 
accentuates all the evils of the present methods* The belief that some folks 
have in the possibility of changing human nature merely by changing the 
name of the form of government to “Social ism*' is extremely naive. 

There is reason for belief that the bitter partisanship of the football 
rivalries may sometimes enter into the scientific antagonisms of university 
groups* Thus the work of Wever and Bray, of Princeton, on the transmission 
of sound by the auditory nerve of cats was attacked and unjustly undermined 
for a while by the attacks of Davis and Lurie, of Harvard, at the time that 
football relations between the two universities were severed. At about the 
same time the splendid work of Swingle, of Princeton, was unjustly attacked 
and discredited, thus robbing him of the honors due him. 

REGIMENTATION OF RESEARCH 

Regimentation of research by the organization of “research committees* 1 
has been suggested as a remedy for the situation. It is especially favored by 
radicals, totalitarian^ and by social service allies* Prominent among its 
advocates are the American Association of Science Writers and Waldemar 
Kaempffert of the New York Times* 

Kaempffert would have us believe with Professor Alfred Kroeber: “The 
genius simply realizes the aspirations of society/ 1 He gives in evidence the 
statement of Professor William F. Ogburn that “145 major scientific dis- 
coveries and inventions were made simultaneously and independently by 
two or more men/’ For the totalitarian radical this justifies regimentation 
and destruction of Individual freedom. 

Unfortunately these ideas are belied by experience. There has been 
surprisingly little “simultaneous discovery” among institutions and com- 
mittees in spite of the “aspirations of society,” unless one gives that name 
to theft of ideas and discoveries, or commonplace scientific hijacking. 

THE SUPPRESSION OF RESEARCH AND DISCOVERY 

Now, research committees, which are generally dominated by the A. M, A. 
and the social service rackets, are extremely effective devices for the sup- 
pression or theft of ideas and discoveries. They usurp and monopolize 
research funds from all. sources, research facilities, laboratories, hospitals, 
clinics, and publication media. They also engineer censorship of the press 
in their respective fields, force their acceptance as ultimate authorities, set 
themselves up as dictators of “accepted practice” which has the cogent force 
of legal status, and advertise and publicize themselves and their practices. 

They are the Grand Inquisitors of Medical Science* They are in ex- 
cellent position to protect their commercial interests and to destroy “inter- 
loping” medical discoverers who might arise to offer challenge to their as- 
sumed omniscience and authority. The members of the committees gen- 
erally earn large incomes by doing the scientific chores of allied commercial 
interests. 

The committees are ideally adapted to protect the established medico- 


110 



political order and to bar any threat of upset by independent medical dis- 
coverers. By virtue of their position as “authorities,” the public and the press 
accept their verdicts. They can affirm or discredit any new discoveries; and 
from their verdict there is no recourse. They may suppress the announce- 
ment of discoveries and subsequently steal them and publish them in the 
name of the committee or of its members. A case of this type already has 
been cited. Few physicians would dare challenge such thefts, even though 
they might be subject to proof. This is the significance of Dr. MacCallum's 
statement on the subject that is quoted by Dr. Heiser: 

“He said that it had struck him while going through medical litera- 
ture how sad it was that one never heard of the people who did the real 
work (of research and discovery) on many diseases.” 

This has been brought about deliberately by medical merchants and their 
organizations. 

Little hesitancy is shown by these groups, often, in the use of the foulest 
tactics for destroying discoverers and discoveries which threaten injury to 
their interests or purses. Libel and slander are systematically used in these 
campaigns of vilification. They are waged by word of mouth, by telephone, 
by radio, in interviews, and by syndicated columns — -in the medical, sci- 
entific, and lay press. 

Examples of such committees are as numerous as are the special phases 
of medicine. The American Otologic Society, for instance, monopolizes the 
funds and facilities for research in deafness. The millions of dollars which 
it has collected from the public have been frittered away in building up a 
political machine in the specialty, in drawing up a worthless and politically 
censored bibliography of deafness and in commercial exploitation of deafness. 
But nothing has been done for the relief of the deaf. 

“COMMITTEE RESEARCH” IN OTOLOGY 

In the field of otology and of the ear,” committee research” is an old and 
well established practise. How such research operates is illustrated by the 
manner in which the “accepted” views regarding the transmission of sound 
into the ear were established. For over a half century, an active scientific con- 
troversy raged between two schools of thought and groups of scientists. One 
group was led by Professor Helmholtz and Professor Pollitzer, the former 
the most eminent physicist of his day, and the latter, father of modern 
otology. This group believed and attempted to prove by experiments, now 
realized to be crude in the extreme, that sound is transmitted into the inner ear 
by the tiny bones of the ear only. This view is obviously wrong; because 
sound is transmitted to the ear even when those bones are destroyed or missing. 
The other group with less distinguished leaders adduced considerable proof 
that sound was transmitted to the ear through other channels. 

The controversy had become quite acrimonious. Scientific evidence proved 
neither view conclusively to the satisfaction of the other group, however 
obvious the case might be that the ossicles were not essential for transmission 
of sound into the ear. Professor Pollitzer and a committee of his supporters 
decided to force the issue. At a congress of otologists in Berlin in the early 


ill 



go’s, they made the theory a political issue and put it to a vote* Professor 
Pollitzer and his committee won because of their political infl uence and the 
support of Helmholtz. Until the present day, every text book carries the 
false statement that the tiny bones of the middle ear are essential for the 
transmission of sound to the inner ear and for hearing; in spite of the fact 
that millions of humans, who hear without those bones, prove the contrary* 
Few ear specialists or scientists engaged in the study of the ear dare question 
this dogma or gospel of otology. Those who do are rapidly squelched. 

AMERICAN OTOLOGIC SOCIETY 
The same spirit prevails today in the American Otological Society. The 
Society has raised funds by public subscription for otologic research but oper- 
ates as a private and exclusive club for a clique of otologic bosses. It serves 
primarily to aggrandize them and to boost their businesses. Thus when it 
began its campaign to raise funds, Dr. Arthur Duel, boss of the Society, 
announced in a publicity release in the New York World on June 9, 1929, 
that he was “considered the greatest ear specialist in the world. 

Though the Society itself has done little to further the knowledge of deaf- 
ness, it does attempt to suppress discovery and maintain dogma dictated by it* 
This is illustrated by an experience of mine. In 1934 I reported in Science 
an interesting improvement in hearing observed in a series of cases of pro- 
gressive deafness in which air had been injected into the spine for purposes 
of diagnosis. I offered the hypothesis that possibly these cases presented 
adhesions of the meningeal membranes and localized accumulations of fluid in 
the brain cisterns which exerted pressure on the auditory nerve tracts; and that 
these were released by the air pressure. 

Shortly after this publication I received the following note from Dr. 
Edmund Prince Fowler, officer of the American Otological Society, chief in 
otology at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, and consultant in otology to 
the American Telephone and Telegraph Company: 

Dear Dr, Josephson: 

I saw a quotation from Science about otosclerosis from meningeal 
adhesions, cysts, etc. I have autopsy slides of many cases of otosclerosis 
and no indications such as you mention.. It might be well to write 
Science correcting the impression made by the quotation in question. 

Edmund Prince Fowler. 

ASSUMPTION OF OMNISCIENCE 
This letter demonstrates the spirit of authoritarianism and the assumption 
of omniscience which is as usual as it is unwarranted. It would be absurd to 
expect that microscopic slides would show up massive accumulations of fluid 
in the meningeal cisterns which are destroyed in the process of securing the 
pathologic specimens. I replied as follows: 

Dear Dr. Fowler: 

I am a bit puzzled by your discussion of the news reports of my 
preliminary note published in a recent issue of Science. 4 . . You state that 
on the basis of your autopsy slides you have failed to note any cases of 


112 



meningeal adhesions and cysts in otosclerosis > and consequently doubt my 
findings in progressive deafness and , . . “so-called otosclerosis S' It is 
an interesting fact that a number of the cases which constituted the basis 
of this study were diagnosed as “otosclerosis” by eminent colleagues and 
given a hopeless prognosis. If my memory serves me correctly, one of 
them was a case which you yourself so diagnosed and prognosed. . . . 

If your statement is to be interpreted to mean that meningeal ad- 
hesions do not occur in deafness, because you have not found them in 
“otosclerosis/* it contradicts the fact that we all know that deafness 
occurs in meningitis and that meningeal adhesions are often found in 
meningitis. . - . 

If your statement is to be interpreted as signifying that no adhesions 
were found in cases which you diagnosed as “otosclerosis** and autopsied, 
it is a bit more understandable. What puzzles me is what criteria of 
diagnosis you use clinically to differentiate the cases of progressive deaf* 
ness which on autopsy you found presented the pathologic picture for 
which alone I am inclined to reserve the diagnosis otosclerosis. Also I 
am puzzled to understand how you explain away the finding of otos- 
clerosis in cases which present no deafness. 

Possibly presentation of the data, before one of our specialty organiza- 
tions would be in order. But unfortunately those organizations are such 
rackets and monopolies that it is generally impossible for those not in the 
inner ring to get an opportunity to present significant discoveries. 

E. M. Josephson. 

Confirmation of the validity of my hypothesis has been offered by the discovery 
of similar conditions about the optic nerve causing cases of blindness that re- 
cover vision on release of the adhesions and re-establishment of free flow of the 
fluid. The American Otological Society does not encourage research work 
except in directions outlined by the committees of the Society for which the 
membership can claim full credit. All other work is disregarded or dis- 
credited, when possible, in the interest of preserving the prestige of the 
members of the Society. The research fund has done much, however, to create 
hereditary dynasties in otology and to subsidize the advancement of sons of the 
Society's bosses. But it has materially retarded the advance of otology. 

The only product of this so-called otological research has been the brutal 
exploitation of the deaf by the Lempert Fenestration (“Window”) Oper- 
ation. These operations have lined the purses of the ring leaders of otology; 
and the brutal malpractice has completely deafened and maimed a multitude 
of victims. The story of this operation and its exploitation is told in the 
Appendix at the end of this volume. 

The same is true of the National Cancer Committee and its subsidiaries. 
They have engineered, with the aid of the American Science Writers* Asso- 
ciation, the official sanction and support of their activities by having Congress 
establish the National Advisory Cancer Council and the National Cancer 
Institute under their control. 


US 



FURTHER EXPERIENCES IN MEDICAL RESEARCH 
I can most clearly illustrate the activities of the research committee, or 
cliques, and the perfection of organization introduced by Simmons and his 
successor, by citing my own experiences. These have taught me that the 
cliques cannot think of medicine except in terms of personal profit; also that 
the more closely the individual “leader” is identified with social service ac- 
tivities, the more mercenary are his motives. 

For medical research and discovery I found that 1 had a natural aptitude. 
As a result, in a career of over two decades I have made one hundred and 
eighteen discoveries. The first, made while still a medical student, was a 
simple and obvious method of diagnosing malignancy of cancer from tissue 
sections. It was published in the Medical Record in 1917. Credit and acclaim 
for this discovery has gone to one of the shining lights of a committee on 
cancer. 

This initial work was followed by publication of an accidentally discovered 
method of causing a flare-up of latent leprosy that enabled its recognition. 
There then followed in rapid succession a series of discoveries in connection 
with the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. These researches were done at my 
own expense and were published in medical journals in all parts of the world, 
including the journals published by the American Medical Association, of 
which I had become a member. The discoveries gained for me recognition 
as a scientist and fellowship in national specialty and scientific societies. 
My work was listed in the fifth edition of the American Men of Science. 

A CRUSADER RESIGNS FROM THE A. M. A. 

During my membership in the American Medical Association, I consistently 
attacked corrupt medical politics. I became one of the original advocates 
of the idea of group medical care at a fixed annual fee, and organized a 
sizeable group of physicians for that purpose. My articles on the topic of 
medical organization were widely published, many in the columns of the 
Medical Week, the official magazine of the New York County Medical 
Society. In an article in Liberty magazine of April 5, 1930, entitled 
“Doctors and Their Ethics,” Grace Robinson quoted extensively from my 
articles that had been published in medical channels on the subject of medical 
corruption. This brought down on me an editorial attack by Fishbein in the 
Journal of the American Medical Association which libelously asserted that 
I was “the would-be leader of the Bolshevik movement in American medicine.” 
In 1931, I vigorously attacked the sale of the worthless and dangerous 
infantile paralysis “convalescent serum” and compelled its abandonment 
after it had caused many deaths. Indignant at the failure of the Asso- 
ciation to act to protect the public from it, I resigned in December 1931. 

OSTRACISM, LIBEL AND SUPPRESSION FOLLOW 
Shortly after my resignation, the publications controlled by the A. M. A. 
and its subsidiaries were closed to me. My letters on medical politics were 
flatly rejected by the editor of the Medical Week, the local county medical 
publication. I and my scientific work were calumnied and slandered both 
to the profession and to the public. No effort was spared to damage my 


114 



professional and scientific reputation. This has resulted, unfortunately, in 
more serious injury to the public than to myself, as I will make clear. 

In 1933, I brought to light the widespread prevalence of impairment 
of vision due to malnutrition, especially to deficiency of vitamin A. This 
condition was then supposed to be non-existent in the United States. My 
report entitled "Effects of Depression on the Vision of Children” was the 
first intimation of its prevalence published in this country. It would have 
been possible for me to secure aid for these children in the form of an 
adequate diet, if the representatives of the New York Academy of Medicine 
and of social service agencies engaged in eye work, Drs. Conrad Berens, 
Le Grand Hardy and Daniel Kirby, had not withheld their confirmation 
and approval. Three years later my findings had been repeatedly confirmed. 
The damage had been done and the situation had greatly improved, thanks 
to rising employment. Only then did the social service clique first voice 
cognizance of the problems of nutrition that had become a mere academic 
question. 

At this time there appeared the textbook "Diseases of the Eye” edited by 
Conrad Berens and written by "eighty-two international authorities” In this 
book a few lines sufficed to relate all that these "authorities” had to tell about 
the already large science of the influence of diet on the eyes and vision. 

GLAUCOMA BECOMES A POLITICAL FOOTBALL 

About that time I discovered the cause and remedy of primary glaucoma, 
one of the most frequent causes of hopeless blinding of adults. The method 
of treatment is medical, with cortin, the hormone of the adrenal cortex 
gland. It eliminates largely the blinding glaucoma operations from which 
many of the leaders of ophthalmology derive a large part of their incomes. 
They therefore undertook to suppress my sight-saving discovery. 

An article on the glaucoma discovery submitted to the Journal of the 
A. M. A . was rejected. When I published an announcement of the dis- 
covery in the magazine Science , it was widely publicized in the daily press 
throughout the country and came to the attention of thousands of sufferers 
who might have benefited from the treatment. They rushed to their phy- 
sicians who knew nothing about it because it bad been suppressed in their 
medical journals. To protect their reputations they condemned as worth- 
less the method concerning which they knew absolutely nothing. In their 
denials was mixed the element of revenge for the humiliation which they 
suffered due to their ignorance of the method. That was the result of 
suppression of publication of my work in medical channels. 

Illustrative of the profound ignorance of a supposed authority on the 
subject was a letter written by Professor H. Maxwell Langdon, professor 
of ophthalmology at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of 
Pennsylvania, He protested in the letter column of Time magazine of 
July 12, 1935, that "the effect of cortin as distinguished from adrenalin is 
not yet known” ; though it had been common knowledge for almost a decade 
that their actions and properties are entirely different. On such false 
ground, he protested the publication of the discovery. 


ns 



The A* M. A. machinery for discrediting medical discoveries that damage 
the purses of its overlords and elude its press censorship, promptly went into 
operation. In a syndicated column that he wrote for the N, E, A. and the 
Scripps Howard newspapers, Dr. Morris Fishbein attacked my glaucoma 
discovery and alleged that 

“the observer in question had little real evidence to support his contention 
and . , . No one has been able to confirm bis views.” 

This statement of Fishbein’s was as devoid of truth as are many of his 
other "authoritative” comments. There appeared shortly thereafter my book 
entitled "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cortin,” which was 
based on the successful treatment of several hundred cases of glaucoma, the 
largest number ever covered by a single report up to that time. Also, a 
brilliant confirmation of my work had been published by a prominent Western 
ophthalmologist in the California and Western Medical Journal. It brought 
down on him a warning to refrain from further confirmation of the discovery. 

"AUTHORITIES” TO THE ATTACK 

In October 1935 I was informed by a friendly colleague at the Cleveland 
Convention of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, 
that there was a plan afoot among the overlords of the specialty to discredit 
my glaucoma work, without regard to facts, because of the threat it offered 
to their incomes from glaucoma operations. 

Soon afterward, Professor Harry S. Gradle, a member of the political 
coterie which dominates the eye section of the American Medical Association, 
forwarded for publication in Scierice an attack on my work. It was palpably 
false, for the professor had not even taken the trouble to find out what is my 
method of treatment. The editor of Science, Dr. J. McKeen Cattell, gave 
me an opportunity to reply to the attack in the same issue. In the reply I 
proved by the contents of Dr. Gradle’s letter that the attack was false. On 
reading the reply, the professor wired a retraction of his attack withdrawing 
it from publication. 

PROFESSOR WOODS STRETCHES A FEW POINTS 

One month later, as a part of a concerted plan, there appeared in the 
Archives of Ophthalmology, which is the specialty journal published by 
the American Medical Association, a nasty, libelous attack on my glaucoma 
work and a personal attack on me by Professor Alan C. Woods, of Johns 
Hopkins Medical School. Professor Woods had not taken the trouble to 
find out what is my method of treatment before attacking it. He treated 
a few cases for a period of several days by a method which he assumed 
was mine. But it happened to be the very method which I condemn. 

The professor accidentally approximated the correct method of therapy 
for brief periods during the treatment of his cases. During these periods 
he obtained brilliant, transient results which fully confirmed my own. These 
he overlooked, and proceeded to operate some of the cases which had given 


116 



promising response. On the basis of his misapplication of the treatment 
the professor condemned my method as worthless and my reports as false. 

BUT CONFESSES IGNORANCE 

In his attack Professor Woods derided the work of Professor Swingle and 
Dr, Pfiffner of Princeton University on the mechanism of action of the 
adrenal cortex hormone, which recently has been completely confirmed. He 
also attacked as of questionable potency the preparation of the hormone which 
is marketed under the Swingle-Pfiffner patent by Parke Davis and Company, 
which was one of the preparations which I had effectively used. He con- 
cluded his comments on my work with the statement 

“Dr. Josephson’s further remarks on the relationship of the development 
of sex to the salt-water metabolism and to glaucoma and myopia lead us into 
the realms of endocrine mythology where I confess myself unable to follow " 
On the basis of his confessed ignorance, Professor Woods derided my 
views as mythologic. Fortunately a number of research workers, including a 
fellow professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, George A. Harrop, have 
once again proved that not all is mythologic that appears so to the less en- 
lightened and intelligent. They have adduced evidence verifying my hypothesis 
on the relation of salt exchange to the sex hormones. 

Dr. Wopds has never had the courage, the honesty or the decency to retract 
the false, mean and libelous attack on me and my work. I protested to Presi- 
dent Isaiah Bowman and the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University 
this perversion of academic prestige and power, but to no avail. The situation 
portrays the "principles” which guide modern medical education and research 
and the depths of degradation to which it has fallen. 

I promptly called the obvious errors to Professor Woods’ attention. In 
his reply he tacitly acknowledged his misrepresentations regarding my method, 
but lamely defended his position. He agreed to request the editor of the 
Archives and its publishers, the A. M. A., to permit me to reply and correct 
the false impressions that had been created. I forwarded a reply and cor- 
rection to the Archives; but its editor, Dr. Arnold Knapp, flatly refused to 
publish it. 


DR. KNAPP GETS A CASE OF CONSCIENCE 

Several months later, I was called to the Knapp Memorial Hospital to 
treat for Dr. Arnold Knapp a glaucoma patient, M. S., a Brooklyn furrier. 
Initially suffering from a mild case of glaucoma, he had been operated upon 
by Dr. Knapp five times in two months. The end result was loss of useful 
vision and a hopeless glaucoma that had been aggravated by the injury of 
the operations. I was called in consultation indirectly through a co-worker 
of Dr. Knapp's, Dr. Mark Schoenberg. 

As a sequel to this incident, Dr. Knapp, in his capacity of editor of the 
Archives of Ophthalmology, invited me to submit a reply to Dr. Woods' 
article. This he accepted after demanding revision and elimination of the 
most damaging parts. Several months later, Dr, Morris Fishbein, in the 


117 



capacity of managing editor of the A. M. A., overrode the editor of the 
Archives and barred the publication of my accepted reply. 

FISHBEIN CLIQUE BARS CORRECTION OF FALSE REPORT 
This episode means that Fishbein and his clique are able to misrepre- 
sent to the profession an important discovery, to keep the profession in 
ignorance of the facts, and to deny the victims of glaucoma a means of 
averting almost certain blindness. So thorough is the political organization 
of the profession, that with rare exception, no one would dare to use the 
method openly or to announce good results obtained; for the clique controls 
the hospitals and does not hesitate to oust and, if possible, to ruin any phy- 
sician who fails to do its bidding. 

The hostility of Fishbein and his clique toward me was accentuated, 
undoubtedly, by a publication made by Dr. George Cameron and myself 
before the Eugenic Research Association in June 1936, of the results of 
our studies on congenital effects of the dangerously poisonous dinitrophenol. 
It has been related how Fishbein and the A. M. A. had actively sponsored 
it as a “harmless” reducing drug. A resolution introduced by me, that 
called on the Federal Government to ban the sale of the poison, was de- 
feated by the activities of representatives of the A. M. A. The presentation 
of scientific papers by members was eliminated, later, in a “reorganization” 
of this society. Dr. Conrad Berens, an A. M. A. henchman, alone repre- 
sents the eye specialty on its board. 

PROFESSOR MURLIN ATTACKS 
The hostility broke out into open warfare at the June 1936 meeting of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Rochester, 
The Association was then still a true scientific forum where science, and 
not political intrigue, counted. It had not yet come under the control of 
the Fishbein clique. As a Fellow of the Association, I presented the results 
of my method in a series of several hundred cases and replied to Dr. Woods' 
attack. 

Professor J. R. Murlin of the University of Rochester, a henchman of 
the A. M. A., took the floor at the end of the lecture. He pleaded not 
for science and the conquest of truth, but like any politician, for party 
regularity. He attacked me bitterly for replying to Dr. Woods, pleading 
his absence as a defense though the doctor had chosen to be absent with full 
knowledge that my paper was a reply to him. The antagonism of the 
A. M. A. clique was intensified because the New York Times published in 
full my damaging statistics on the results of glaucoma operations, the first 
ever compiled. 

“SCIENCE” ACQUIRES A CENSOR 
Infuriated by this breakdown of their censorship and their failure to 
suppress the publications of my discoveries, the A. M. A, clique immediately 
set about perfecting their machinery for the suppression of science. They 
demanded and secured from the A. A. A. S. an absolute censorship of all 
papers touching on medical topics in Science , the official publication of the 


118 



Association; and I was notified that all contributions trom me would be 
barred. They also took over control of the programs of the medical section 
at the semi-annual meetings of the Association; and converted it from an 
open forum for the announcement of medical discovery into an advertising 
campaign for their old war-horses. Thereafter the medical section programs 
consisted of “symposiums,” a high-sounding title for rehashing of ancient 
textbook lore. 

To perfect the mechanism for suppression of medical science in the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, the A. M. A. gang 
placed Dr. Harry S. Gradle, who has already been mentioned, in the position 
of representative for the eye specialty. Dr. McKeen Cattell, professor of 
physiology at Cornell University and son of the editor, and himself co-editor 
of Science, was drafted into membership in the New York County Medical 
Society and the A. M. A. Thus the A. A. A. S. became prostituted to the 
racketeering and politics of the A. M. A. 

Drug houses were barred from continuing any mention in their literature 
of my glaucoma therapy or the results obtained with it. The A. M. A. de- 
nounced to the public as worthless all the adrenal cortex gland prepar- 
ations marketed by reputable drug firms which I used in my work, in letters 
addressed to the inquiring public, in the following manner: 

. . The present evidence indicates that none of the commercial prep- 
arations of adrenal cortex extract contain appreciable amounts of the 
essential life-sustaining principle of the gland. All of them contain 
epinephrine, choline, histamine, and protein in greater or less amounts 
as contaminants. . . *” 

“Yours sincerely, 

“Paul Nicholas Leech, Secretary 

“Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry” 

My name was removed from listing in the sixth edition of the American 
Men of Science, the directory published by the A. A. A. S. I was banned 
from publication or from presentation of my work in any channel controlled 
by the A. M. A. or by the A. A. A. S. 

ADVERTISING CENSORSHIP AND SUPPRESSION OF 

THOUGHT 

In the hope that some folks might thereby be saved from blindness, I wrote 
a book presenting the details of my method of treatment of glaucoma and the 
results which I had obtained entitled “Glaucoma and its Medical-Treatment 
With Cortin.” 

In the interim the A. M, A. had set up, with the aid of publishers, a 
censorship of science and medicine that bars the presentation in book form, 
of work which they wish to suppress. Book publishers submit to the censorship 
of the A. M. A. anti its satellites and subsidiaries. 

I published the book at my own expense. Newspapers that are supposedly 
reputable, such as the New York Times and the Journal American, and 


U 9 



magazines, such as Time and Science, refused to accept advertisements of the 
book because the A. M.A, objected . This made me feel that it was a 
silly bit of idealism and humanitarian ism that impelled me to seek to make 
the victims a gift of my discovery. It would have yielded me greater profits 
to keep my secrets and exploit them. 

An advertisement of the book submitted to the New York Journal 
American brought the following reply: 

October 4, 1 93 8 

Dear Dr. Josephson: 

Supplementing our telephone conversation we wish to advise you that 
your advertisement is being withheld by our Board of Censors, pending 
reply from the Medical Society of the County of New York. 

Very truly yours, 

I. Hunter 

In reply I asked whether the County Medical Society had approved the 
advertisement carried by the paper of Dr. Prager’s cure for deafness; and the 
advertisement of Carter's Liver Pills. By inference, the reply was in the 
affirmative. 

Thus have the A. M. A. and its subsidiaries secured the full cooperation 
of the press in furthering their rackets and suppressing medical discovery. 
Freedom of thought, speech and publication, and other constitutional rights, 
are destroyed in medicine by the rackets built up by Simmons, his successor 
and their allies. 


SUB-ROSA CONFIRMATION 

In the course of this scientific gang warfare, two honest reports emerged 
to confirm my work. These offer proof that there are a few men of honor 
and spirit in the profession who refuse to be intimidated by the gang or to 
toady to it. 

Professor Swingle of Princeton University is one such character. His 
brilliant and fundamental work on the adrenal cortex hormone is basic. He 
announced at a meeting of the Biologic Section of the New York Academy 
of Science in 1938, that my cortin treatment of glaucoma had been con- 
firmed fully by a collaborator of his, a member of the staff of the Eye In- 
stitute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. But the publication 
of this confirmatory work, the professor stated, was barred by medico- 
political powers. 

A third confirmatory report by Dr. S. L. Haseltine, of Elizabeth, New 
Jersey, was read by him at the annual meeting of his state medical society 
which is one of the few that is courageous and independent enough to de- 
nounce the corruption of its parent organization, the! A. M. A. This report 
of Dr. Hasel tine's also gained publication in the December 1937 issue of the 
Journal of the Society. 

In the article Dr. Haseltine confirmed my discovery of the value of adrenal 
cortex in the treatment of both glaucoma and near-sightedness. Since the 
treatment of near-sightedness does not interfere with any “accepted” surgical 


120 



procedure, as does the treatment of glaucoma, Dr. A, V, Prangen of the Mayo 
Clinic was permitted to mention it in an article in the December 1939 issue of 
the Archives of Ophthalmology , entitled “The Myopia Problem/' In it, how- 
ever, the discovery is accredited to Dr. Haseltine and no mention is made of 
my name which is tabooed by the A. M. A, 

My work on glaucoma and the incidental work on the prevention and 
control of near-sightedness gained international recognition when I was in- 
vited to read papers 011 the subjects before the International Congress of 
Ophthalmology at Cairo, Egypt, in December 1937. An effort was made 
to suppress this presentation by the same group that has suppressed its com- 
plete publication in the U. S. to this date. They were compelled to content 
themselves with inducing the officials of the Gizeh Memorial Ophthalmic 
Hospital to repeat the absurd errors of Professor Alan C. Woods and to 
publish an identically false report in the 1937 official records of the Egyptian 
Government, 

As matters now stand, my method of prevention of blindness due to 
glaucoma is classified falsely as discredited. It has been placed on the 
A. M, A. and the ophthalmologic gang's “Index Expurgatorius.” And rare 
indeed is the physician who would dare to “sin" by trying to read about the 
treatment or investigate it. The day still is saved for the operating merchants- 
in -ophthalmology, vendors of blindness-by-operation, and for their purses, 

STATISTICS TO THE RESCUE 

To uphold the reputed value of glaucoma operations, statistical manipu- 
lations were necessary. In my volume, “Glaucoma and Its Medical Treat- 
ment with Cortin,” and in my paper read at Rochester I presented the first 
published results of operations on glaucoma victims by some of the leading 
surgeons in the country. The figures showed that fifty percent of the cases 
were blind after the first operation, eighty percent after the second, and all 
after the third. Removal of the eye after operation was necessary in over 
six percent of the cases. Vision was impaired and useful vision lost in the 
great majority of cases. My work showed that this wholesale blinding of 
victims of glaucoma by operation could be averted by medical treatment. 

The authenticity of the report was emphasized by the fact that the name 
of the surgeon who operated on each case was published in the report. 

The damage done by the compiling of the true data regarding the results 
of glaucoma operations was accentuated by their publication in the New 
York Times after I had presented them before the Medical Section of the 
A, A. A. S. in 1936, This was B.C. — Before the Censorship of the press 
by the A. M. A. which was imposed directly thereafter, to avert any repe- 
tition of damage to the surgical business. 

A study of the results of glaucoma operations was instituted as a “survey 
project” by Drs. Louis Lehrfield and Jacob Reber of the Wills Hospital, 
Philadelphia. It was published, in the November, 1937, issue of the Archives 
of Ophthalmology. This study showed results little differing from those 
published by me, though they were interpreted, as might be expected, m 
favor of operations. 


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Such a conclusion was permitted by cbe fact that the survey of this eye 
condition interested itself in everything except how much vision was left to 
the patient after operation. All pertinent data with regard to vision were 
omitted in the publication. Believing this to be an oversight* I wrote to the 
authors requesting information with regard to the visual results of the 
operations* and received no reply. The omission was not accidental. 

DISCOVERIES IN PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS 

Continued research enabled me to discover methods of checking the 
advance of near-sightedness, or of preventing its development. Shortly after 
that, I stumbled on a spectacularly successful method of treating a blinding 
disease of eye known as retinitis pigmentosa. This disease had been a com- 
plete and hopeless riddle. Easily recognized, the only information that the 
doctor could give the patient was that he would surely and inevitably be 
completely blinded after a limited time had passed. There had been no sus- 
picion of its true cause and nature, or of any method of successfully treating 
the condition. I found in many cases that the injection into body muscles 
of carotene, the yellow coloring matter of carrots which gives rise to vitamin A 
and to visual purple in the body, would check the advance of this disease and 
would restore some of the lost vision. 

This notable and important discovery was barred from publication in 
the journals controlled by the A. M.A., including Science, It found publi- 
cation only in the scientific magazine Nature, published in England, It has 
been confirmed recently by Professor Tscherkes of Odessa. Professor 
Tscherlces* report confirming my discovery was published in the United States 
in abstract form in both the Journal and in the 1939 Yearbook of Eye, Ear, 
Nose and Throat. The discovery was attributed in these abstracts to Tscherkes 
and no mention was made of his statement that he was merely confirming my 
report. 

The same fate was shared by my discoveries of the causes and remedies 
of other previously hopelessly blinding conditions — keratoconus and the Law- 
rence-Biedl-Moon syndrome. My discovery of the highly-successful method of 
treatment of pneumonia, as I have already related, was also suppressed in this 
country. 


OTHER SUPPRESSED DISCOVERIES 

I have related my own experiences with the suppression of medical dis- 
covery not because they are unusual in present day medicine, but because I 
am more intimately familiar with their details. Rarely such incidents manage 
to penetrate the press censorship and come to light, as in the case of the 
important discovery of Drs. Arthur Steinberg and William R. Brown of the 
Kensington Hospital, Philadelphia. 

The doctors discovered that minute amounts of oxalic acid play an 
important role in causing blood to clot; and that injection of the acid would 
save the victims of hemophilia and other diseases from death by bleeding. 
The discovery was made all the more momentous because it contradicted 


122 



w hat has been taught regarding the effect of oxalic acid on blood clotting. 
In the test-tube oxalic acid prevents clotting. But the doctors had carefully- 
verified their observations on more than five hundred cases in a dozen 
Philadelphia hospitals. 

The life-saving character of their discovery made it so important that the 
doctors sent a report of it to the magazine Science, No doubt on the advice 
of the omniscient A. M. A. censors, this amply verified discovery was denied 
publication on the ground that it was "unproved.” That meant that, in their 
ignorance, the "Preservers of the Faith” of the A. M. A. did not believe it. In 
denying publication to this discovery the editors of Science had not the excuse 
and alibi that they have adopted to defend their refusal to publish some medi- 
cal discoveries: they state that it is their policy not to publish clinical wort but 
only experimental work which guinea pigs and other experimental animals 
have confirmed. Drs. Steinberg and Brown had done extensive animal ex- 
periments verifying their report. This mates it obvious that the true reason 
for the censorship exercised by the editors of Science is purely political. 

Fortunately for the public, the Federation of American Societies for Ex- 
perimental Biology still has escaped A. M. A. control and censorship, and 
the doctors were able to publish their results on April 29, 1939, at its 
Toronto meeting. In their publication they mentioned the censorship and 
suppression of their wort by Science and by the American Association for the 
"Advancement” of Science. 

SUPPRESSED DISCOVERIES ARE MANKIND’S LOSS 

These experiences are characteristic of those of independent research 
workers. The situation is mighty discouraging to the true research worker, 
who finds his wort discredited, ignored or stolen by such political rings or 
committees. At the best, these seekers after the truth expect little enough 
reward for their work. They spend their own funds for equipment, material, 
and help, and give many a day to the quest for a single nugget of truth. 
In return for their labors to lighten the lot of mankind, the most that they 
can expect usually is the bit of glory which attaches to publication or to 
reading a paper; or rarely a cheap medal or prize is the reward. 

It is astonishing that a small group of individual workers continue to 
bear the torch of truth-seeking, in spite of the denial to them of even these 
trifling, meretricious rewards for their efforts and sacrifices. What is even 
more amazing, is that it is generally these workers who lead the way of ad- 
vance of medical science in the face of antagonistic "authority.” They are 
compelled to struggle to give their life- and health-saving discoveries to 
mankind. 

A way must be found to encourage these valiant men that vested interests, 
politics, and commercialism will not be able to thwart. Otherwise, there 
will be forced on the pioneers of humanity a cynicism that will lead them to 
refuse mankind the gift of their discoveries and to command payment by 
making private secret remedies of them. This was the practice in the dark 
Middle Ages; and there is evidence at hand that again it is in vogue among 
medical merchants. 


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RESEARCH REFORMS 

Everyone has a vital interest in the elimination of the research rackets; 
for upon honest and effective research rests the hope of prolongation of 
human life and of avoidance of disease* 

The first step in the destruction of the research rackets would be the 
elimination of research regimentation and of monopolies of research funds 
and facilities* This would imply, among other things, the elimination of 
fraudulent associations which collect funds for the ostensible purpose of aiding 
research and then utilize them for payment of salaries and administrative 
charges; for they exhaust public generosity that supports research* Likewise, 
foundations which serve primarily as commercial voting trusts should be 
converted to public agencies* 

Research and discoveries that serve public interest should be stimulated 
by a system of public prizes and emoluments that would pension the dis- 
coverer for the purpose of devoting himself to further researches* Such a 
plan might be made self-financing by a provision for patenting discoveries. 

Provision should be made for demonstration and evaluation, compulsory 
on demand of the discoverer, of medical discoveries in municipal hospitals, 
after the methods first have been proved harmless in animals, 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PUBLICATION ESSENTIAL 

For the purpose of facilitating and stimulating the rapid dissemination 
of proved and valuable discoveries, accurate releases should be made for pub- 
lication in the press. Freedom of thought, speech and publication in science 
and in medicine must be reestablished in the interest of public welfare* The 
words of Watson Davis, the director of Science Service, at the censorship 
dinner tendered by the A* M, A. to the science writers in 1937, cannot be 
repeated too often or stressed too greatly: 

“Freedom of speech and freedom of press within the medical pro- 
fession and its allied fields are just as important as the freedom of the 
public press. It is of public concern if dominant views within any sci- 
entific group tend to suppress minority or unconventional opinions.” 

Unfortunately these noble sentiments were lip homage and do not guide 
the policies of Science Service* The service is now completely censored by 
the A* M. A* rackets. 


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CHAPTER IX. 

HOSPITAL AND CLINIC RACKETS 


JJecause hospital facilities are often essential for the present-day practice of 
medicine, "Doc” Simmons and his A. M. A. crew set out to gain for them- 
selves complete control of hospitals throughout the country. But the hospital 
business is rich and profitable. The A, M. A, was forced to contest control 
with two powerfully entrenched groups, the American College of Surgeons 
and the Social Service Trust, Eventually after much manoeuvering and many 
battles, these three groups compromised and divided the hospital into “spheres 
of influence,” In some States these “spheres” have been given legal rati- 
fication. 

The consequences of their activities to the public and to the rank and 
file of the medical profession is strikingly illustrated by a story published in 
the April 13, 1929, issue of the Milwaukee News Sentinel. This report of 
a survey on hospitals, made among the rank and file of the local medical pro- 
fession, reads as follows: 

MEDICAL MEN FIND HOSPITAL RATES TOO HIGH 

Hospital prices in Milwaukee must come down if a crisis in the wel- 
fare of the medical profession is to be averted, many Milwaukee physicians 
stated. . . . 

“The hospitals have increased their price scale to such an extent that the 
patient of moderate means has nothing left for the doctor after he has paid 
the bill,” one well known downtown physician declared. “These hospitals 
pretend to be charitable institutions when, in fact they are exacting top 
prices in a great majority of instances. 

“1 am afraid to take a patient to a hospital unless I know he has 
enough ready money to pay the bill,” this doctor continued, “In some 
instances the hospital authorities will reduce the price scale slightly if I 
make a special plea, and in very rare instances will take a patient free of 
charge. The usual reductions, however, leave the final bill still exorbitant. 
Either there is profit in hospital operations in Milwaukee or there is 
gross mismanagement” 

Physicians spoke frankly of their grievances when assured anonymity, 
but shut up like clams when asked to discuss the situation publicly. 

"J cant afford to get in had with the hospitals at this time , one 
physician with a large practice said . “The hospitals in this city are able 
to run things their own way” 

This physician produced a bill which had been rendered one of his 
patients for two days' hospital care. The bill was for $30 but had origin- 
ally been made out for $37. 

“Here is an example,” he said. “This patient underwent a simple oper- 


125 



atton. When I pleaded with the authorities to cut the bill because of the 
patient’s poverty, it was reduced $7. You can’t tell me that the hospital 
didn’t make money at the $30 rate. I could have hired a hotel room and 
a nurse and performed the operation in a hotel for that price . . . ** 

The item of cost of hospitalization the quoted doctors considered primarily 
from the viewpoint of their own incomes, though it obviously affected in 
equal measure the purses of their patients. In many communities, since then, 
the problem of the cost of hospitalization apparently is solved in part by 
the adoption of group hospitalization plans. But the public is confronted by 
many rackets that have been developed in connection with hospitals, that 
affect what is more important than money — the patient’s health and life. 

The patient is not in the average hospital long before he senses that there 
is something radically Avrong about its organization that vitally affects him. 
He may sense it in the restriction in his choice of a physician to the members 
of the hospital’s staff, in the high fees that are exacted from him, in the 
attitude of indifference often shown to his comfort, convenience or even 
vital needs. He and his friends may regard these as fancied or imagined; 
but they are very real. They are inherent in the character conferred upon 
hospital organization by the groups that have gained control over it. 

SOCIAL SERVICE IN THE HOSPITAL 

The sphere of influence of the social service group is agitation for the 
construction of public hospitals, financing and construction of the quasi- 
public or “voluntary” hospital, and the management of the business of both. 
The organization, construction and operation of voluntary hospitals and 
clinics is usually a very lucrative business for the moving spirits if sufficient 
voluntary contributions can be obtained. 

The first step taken by the social service group to get a new hospital, 
or a new building for an old hospital, is to raise the cry of “overcrowded 
hospitals and clinics.” It is a simple matter to bring about overcrowding 
even in communities with an excess of hospital facilities by the methods 
which will be described later. The control and censorship of the press 
which the social service forces have built up, insure ample publicity and 
protect them against any contradiction by informed persons. They also 
control the flood-gates of charity and philanthropy and can divert such funds 
as they choose. 

The next step in the procedure generally is a joining of forces of the 
social service clique with a group of business men who are prospective di- 
rectors, and a small group of doctors who are prospective consultants. Usu- 
ally the members of the group contribute some capital or secure donations 
to the enterprise. This money may be invested in an old building or a plot 
of ground. Not infrequently the owner of an otherwise unsaleable property 
is the moving spirit in the enterprise and a true philanthropist the prime 
“sucker.” 

With this nucleus, the entrepreneurs then bend their efforts to impress 
upon the community their charitable intent and public spirit. This is 
requisite under the social service laws of most States for the permit to operate 


126 



a clinic or voluntary hospital or to 'beg and solicit funds* bequests and en- 
dowments from the public. The law of New York State, for instance, pro- 
vides that no hospital supported by public subscription may be operated for 
acknowledged profit. 

With the accompaniment of a publicity campaign, solicitation of funds 
from the public is instituted by volunteers and by highly paid solicitors. Com- 
missions of fifty percent and expenses to soliciting publicity firms are not 
up usual. 

7 he fraction of the funds donated by the public that is left over by the 
collectors is turned over to the directors. The disposition of the money in 
their hands depends upon the wishes of the individual board of directors. 
Seldom, almost never, is any public accounting ever made of the funds. 

The campaign of solicitation of funds may continue for years. There 
are many instances of collection of millions of dollars from the public for the 
erection and equipment of hospitals that could not conceivably cost a small 
fraction of the moneys that have been collected for them. 

What happens to these millions contributed by the public which never 
find their way into the building and operation of these hospitals? Even on 
superficial examination of the situation it becomes apparent that these hos- 
pital funds are either inefficiently dissipated or grossly misappropriated. 

Many hospital groups readily confess to dissipation of funds. Such a con- 
fession by a prominent hospital executive, was published in the Saturday 
Evening Post several years ago. Those who are most intimately acquainted 
with the financial operations of hospitals are inclined to attribute these 
protestations as picas to the lesser offense, in order to escape indictment on the 
greater. 

PROFITS OF HOSPITAL DIRECTORS 

Accountants have informed the writer that on many occasions they find 
in audits of hospitals obvious evidences of diversion or misappropriation of 
funds. These generally redound to the credit of firms in which “professional” 
hospital directors have an interest. These “professionals” shield their ac- 
tivities behind the fronts of reputable fellow directors who adorn the board; 
and they engineer their pilfering of hospital funds with impunity and skill. 
They retire from business and devote themselves to the vocation of hospital 
director, and wax rich on their loot. 

A stir was created in New York City a number of years ago when a 
group of directors of Mount Sinai Hospital spent much money and effort 
to bar contributor-members from any vote in the management of the hospital. 
Bills were passed at Albany and appeals made to the courts of the State. 

The auditor of one hospital supported by an alien group had among its 
directors a shrewd brewer who contributed heavily. He suspected diversion 
of the hospital funds and had called in an auditor in the guise of an effi- 
ciency expert. The auditor had no difficulty in discovering the diversion 
of funds. 

u l could save half the cost of operating the hospital,” he told me, 

“but my hands are tied. The hospital, for instance, pays ten cents a 


127 



dish for the crockery used in the wards* I could buy the identical 
dishes in the open market for two cents a dish; but I am barred from 

so doing. All the dishes used in the hospital are bought from Mr. H 

who is on the board of directors/' 

Mr. H was a brewer who had turned bootlegger, invested in com- 

mercial concerns during prohibition, and made a bit on the side as professional 
hospital director. 

This auditor eventually learned too much. Rather than let his dangerous 
knowledge wander in paths out of their control, the directors made him 
superintendent of the hospital at an attractive salary. 

The job of hospital architect is extremely lucrative, especially if the 
architect happens also to be superintendent* Millions have been made in this 
fashion. 

No field is more profitable than hospital construction. Contractors have 
been known to donate out of their profits as high as a quarter of a million 
dollars to a hospital, on the directorate of which they sat, for the privilege 
of constructing a single building for that hospital. In New York City, hos- 
pital construction in one year may mount to forty millions, and is seldom less 
than ten millions. 

Hospital and clinic construction have proved profitable for some of the 
social service dan. One of the most prominent workers in the field of hos- 
pitals and clinics who is also head of that division of a rich philanthropic 
foundation, is a silent partner in a firm which engages extensively in hospital 
and clinic construction. 

Hospital accounts are generally not available for the inspection of the 
contributing public. If they were, numerous startling items would be dis- 
covered. One hospital recorded in its books the payment of six hundred 
dollars per dozen for cotton sheets for use on its wards. Another recoided 
expenditure of one hundred and twenty-five dollars for several thousand 
envelops; and a total stationery bill of tens of thousands of dollars, all paid 
to the firm of a director. Hospitals are big business for the merchants who 
control their purchases even when merchandise is honestly priced. 

BOOSTING BUSINESS 

When the hospital is constructed, it becomes the duty of its social 
service clique to build up business and income. Many devices are unscrupu- 
lously employed in this process. Though a hospital is by its very nature a self- 
advertising business, intensive advertising and publicity are usually used for 
this purpose. 

As has been related, high priced publicity men are employed by hospitals to 
aid in building up their businesses and those of their staffs. Sometimes the 
publicity is centered about one or a group of staff physicians or surgeons whose 
“great deeds” are exploited. In other cases, the publicity centers about the 
hospital's specialty or some discovery, real or bogus. 

CLINICS AS BUSINESS AGENCIES 

Clinics — free municipal, so-called “charitable,” or pay— are the most ef- 


128 



fectlve bait for hospital business. Their services are represented to the public, 
falsely, as superior to those of the selfsame rank and file of the medical 
profession who man them. Until the clinic is crowded and overtaxed, all 
comers are welcomed. 

The 1927 report of the group of social service agencies combined in the 
United Hospital Fund of New York City stated that one and a quarter million 
people, or one in every five of the population of the city, were treated in the 
clinics of the city. The incidence of serious disease, requiring medical care, 
does not average over fifty percent per annum of the populace. It therefore 
becomes apparent that about half of the sick of New York City were treated 
in its “charitable” clinics. 

These figures are striking, in view of the prosperity of those times. The 
purchase of luxuries then ran higher than ever. The average New York 
family boasted automobiles, radio sets, permanent waves, tickets to fights, 
and bootleg liquor. 

Most folks at that time would have resented the imputation that they 
were poor. They were receiving higher wages than ever before. Automo- 
biles were frequently traded ; and when in need of repair they were entrusted, 
circumspectly, only to highly paid skilled mechanics; for autos were valuable 
and costly. 

These same folks parked their cars as closely as numerous other autos, 
with the same destination, would permit. They took their own bodies into 
the crowded clinics for “free” or “cheap” medical care. It is obvious that 
folks place a low value on their lives as compared with their automobiles. 
For they would not dream of entrusting their cars to cheap services of the 
type that they sought for their own bodies. 

Even in those days of prosperity medical panhandling had attained vast 
proportions. Few were the clinics which had not on their lists patients earn- 
ing between fifty and one hundred and fifty dollars per week, who asserted 
that they could not afford to pay for medical services. The prevalence of 
medical panhandling was given official recognition by Dean William Darracli 
in his report on the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, in the yeai 
1927. He announced that panhandlers applying for services at the clinics 
of the Center would be compelled to pay the physician rendering services. 

Several years later, Miss Dwight, a social service executive of the Center, 
explained to me the harriers against “panhandlers” set up by the overcrowded 
Vanderbilt Clinic. The patients were classified in three groups, and dealt 
with accordingly. Group A could pay the full clinic fee and were admitted 
without further question unless it was discovered that they could afford to 
pay high fees for private medical attention ; and in this event they were turned 
over directly to one of a specially privileged group of doctors who maintained 
their private offices on the premises of the Center. Group B could pay 
only part of the fee immediately, and the balance at a later date ; and they 
were admitted with discretion. Group C could not pay any part of the 
high clinic fee ; and except for a few who %vere of special interest for teaching 
purposes, none was admitted, but all were referred to free municipal clinics. 
With the advent of government paid Relief, the procedure was modified. 


129 



This demonstrates the charitable spirit of hospital social service, which serves 
in voluntary hospitals primarily as a collection agency. 

Some of the patients who are lured into the clinics are sent into the hos- 
pital to fill its beds and provide for it a revenue. Even in the municipal 
hospital^ the clinics of which are free, all patients who can possibly do so, 
are compelled to pay for their hospitalization. By thus filling the clinics and 
hospitals, the social service workers earn their livelihood; for they are well 
paid out of hospital funds. The number of jobs increases with the number 
and size of the hospitals and clinics, and salaries rise in proportion to the 
revenues of institutions. 

ORGANIZED MEDICINE’S ROLE 

The American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons 
share the monopolistic control of the medical and surgical business of hospitals. 
Their initial antagonism has resolved itself. The members of the A. C. S. 
are all members of the A. M. A. whose prime interest is monopoly and pro- 
tection of the surgical business of the hospitals. The A. M. A. seeks and 
usually secures for its bosses, control of all the facilities of hospitals. 

The organization of this monopoly of clinics and hospitals is elaborate. 
Every phase is designed to concentrate into the hands of the members of the 
Association exclusive control of the use of the facilities of all the hospitals 
and clinics of the country; and into the hands of its bosses and ruling cliques, 
all lucrative medical and surgical business. The American College of Sur- 
geons yields to the A. M. A. in all matters except the control of the surgical 
business. It is a powerful Surgical Chamber of Commerce that protects the 
business of its members from any type of encroachment. 

The first step in the upbuilding of this monopoly was to gain absolute con- 
trol of all existing clinics and hospitals and of the advertising, publicity and 
business-building forces that arc inherent in clinics. Originally all clinics were 
private affairs. They consisted of hours set aside by physicians for the treat- 
ment of patients who could not afford to pay full fees for medical services. 
During these hours, the physicians treated those patients privately in office or 
home, for nominal or no fees. This was the doctor’s charity rendered directly 
to members of the community. 

Prior to 1890, a large number of physicians conducted such private clinics 
in all parts of the country. Today they survive only in the West. A number 
of physicians acquired fame and large and lucrative practices through the 
medium of private clinics. In the Eastern States, this inflamed the greed 
of groups of merchants-immedicine who were steeped in the tradition of 
medical “big-business.” To monopolize the advertisement and the business- 
drawing powers of the clinics, they placed on the statute books of a number 
of states, including New York, laws which outlawed private clinics and per- 
mitted only clinics organized with lay boards of directors and with the sanc- 
tion of the “welfare” officials. 

These laws placed the clinics squarely in the control of social service 
groups and of medical merchants allied with them. The unscrupulous phy- 
sicians guaranteed themselves even greater benefits than they had derived from 


130 



their private clinics. They appointed themselves bosses or "chiefs” of the "re- 
organized” clinics. As theii part of the agreement, the social service gentry 
undertook to build up the business of the clinics and their "chiefs,” 

‘TULL-’EMJN" AND “STEER-’EM” CLINICS AND CENTERS 

Through this arrangement, these merchant physicians gained for themselves 
and their hospitals a monopoly of the most direct, intensive and lucrative forms 
of advertising and "steering” of medical business. Patients are lured to the 
clinics and hospitals by publicity and advertising. From the clinics they are 
steered into the private offices of the clinic doctors. In some clinics this solici- 
tation and steering is done openly, bluntly and directly, as at the Columbia- 
Presbyterian Medical Center’s Vanderbilt Clinic, where the patients are led 
by the hand directly to favored doctors who maintain offices on the premises 
of the Center. These physicians arc in excellent position to secure inordinately 
high fees. 

Thus the late Dr, John Wheeler refused to see privately a patient who 
would not pay him in advance a minimum fee of twenty-five dollars per visit. 
With the aid of the cleverly engineered publicity centered about the King of 
Siam, whom his operation left blind, the Eye Institute at the Center has levied 
an enormous toll on the public. 

In the majority of clinics, the process of dragging patients into their doc- 
tors’ private offices is not so direct, but is done by clinic card advertising. 
These clinic cards are issued to the patients to be preserved under the penalty 
of a fee for issuance of a duplicate. They bear the names and rank of the clinic 
physicians; the rank is frequently emphasized by larger and more legible type. 
Some clinic cards also bear the addresses of the physicians. 

In some of the clinics, the name of the chiefs of clinics appears alone on 
the clinic cards, and patients are steered only into their offices. In others the 
direct solicitation of patients is prohibited. But this is circumvented through 
the device of solicitation of patients by employees, such as porters, who work in 
cahoots with the chiefs of clinics or by solicitors. 

There is nothing hit-or-miss about the clinic advertisements. They go 
directly to patients who are suffering from diseases. They are tantamount 
to straightforward invitations to the patients : 

"Come to our private offices if you want superior treatment and if 
you can afford to pay our fees.” 

Nevertheless these doctors pretend that they do not advertise. And 
their "code of ethics” alleges that these advertisements are not advertisements. 
It has been aptly written by Dr. A. L. Wolbarst: 

— "while this rule (prohibition of advertisement and publicity) is 
made to apply by the County Medical Society and the governmental 
authorities to the modest practitioner, it does not seem to affect some of 
the leading members of the profession who somehow manage to bask in 
the light of profitable publicity with no detriment to their ‘ethical 1 
standing.” 


131 



HOSPITALS VITAL IN MEDICAL BUSINESS 
Most vital in the monopoly of medical and surgical business is the control 
of the hospitals of a community. People inevitably discover that the physician 
who is barred from effective utilization of hospital facilities usually cannot 
serve them with complete efficiency. This is not due to lack of capabilities 
of the physician. It is due to the need for hospital facilities in the care of 
the patient. As a consequence, the physician who is barred from access to 
hospitals can be throttled and his competition destroyed. Destruction of com- 
petition, monopoly of medical advertising and publicity, monopoly of the 
surgical and medical business of communities, and the maintenance of prices, 
especially for surgery, at a high and exorbitant level are the prime objects of 
the “closed hospital ’ 1 system. 

There is no more efficient way of advertising the services of a physician 
or surgeon than to let it be known to the community that Dr. Skinem, for 
instance, controls its hospital; that to secure medical or surgical services in 
the hospital (often even to get into the hospital) it must go to Dr. Skinem 
and pay him whatever price he may choose to ask. It matters not 
whether Dr. Skinem is a mediocrity and has bought or wheedled his way 
into control, or whether he is competent and has earned his position; for the 
people who are dependent upon the hospital fie is the surgeon to whom they 
must entrust their lives. His name is bandied about on every lip. His suc- 
cesses survive, because or in spite of his services, to sing his praise. His 
failures damn him; or they die and are buried, and dead men do not 
talk. In any event the community must come to him, for he controls 
its hospital. His patients multiply so fast that he scarcely has time 
to glance at them before ripping open their bellies or snatching out their 
tonsils. He waxes rich and powerful through his control of the hospital; 
and eventually puts out of the running his less fortunate colleague whom he 
bars from the hospital. 

THE “CLOSED HOSPITAL”— A MONOPOLY 

The most important device in establishing a monopoly of hospital facilities 
of the country is the “closed hospital.” The “closed hospitals” are private 
medical monopolies for the exploitation of the public. In them the privilege 
of the use of facilities which have been provided by the generosity of the public 
is restricted exclusively to small cliques of physicians whose objective it is to 
make the greatest possible profit out of their monopolies. This is equally true 
of both categories of “closed hospitals” the municipal, that are entirely sup- 
ported by public funds, and the “voluntary” that are supported largely by 
voluntary contributions of the public. 

Thus the “closed hospital” system is the basic and the most vicious hos- 
pital racket. These hospitals operate primarily for the aggrandizement of 
small, self-perpetuating groups of physicians and lay directors, and consistently 
betray the interests of both the profession and the public. 

The “closed hospital” medical staffs are dominated by groups of attending 
physicians and surgeons, chiefs of staff. The profits to a chief of the control 
of a hospital service may run very high from the business which it steers into 

132 



his private practice. The position of chief in a larger metropolitan hospital, 
such as the Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center, or Mt. Sinai, or Roose- 
velt Hospital, may mean the power to gouge patients enough to earn a quarter 
of a million to a million dollars a year. The struggle for this swag is natur- 
ally ruthless. 

TRAFFIC IN HOSPITAL APPOINTMENTS 
The chief of staff is boss of hospital and clinic, and autocratic dictator in 
his realm. He is subordinate only to the social-service-dominated administra- 
tion, the lay board of directors. If the hospital is "approved” by the A. M. A. 
or the American College of Surgeons, the chief of staff must also accept 
orders from those organizations. 

Subject to these limitations, the position of chief is hierarchical. His 
whims and desires are laws. The chief dictates what physicians in the com- 
munity shall be permitted to use the hospitaPs facilities for the care of his 
patients, and what they may do. He dictates what methods of treatment 
shall be used. He dictates who shall be promoted in rank, and who shall be 
ousted and denied the use of the hospital facilities. 

Staff positions in "closed hospitals,” though they carry no direct emolu- 
ment, are eagerly sought by the medical profession. The hospital is in itself 
an advertisement of medical services that lures medical business; a place on 
the staff of the hospital may mean to the physician a share in the monopoly 
of the advertisement, or of the business, or of both. 

Staff positions are rarely obtained solely on the basis of merit. They are 
sometimes obtained by mediocrity and plodding years of service in menial 
capacity. In this event the doctor may serve the institution for many years 
before he is permitted access to the use of the facilities of the hospital for 
his patients. Usually staff positions are secured by physicians for "considera- 
tions.” Nepotism or politics may suffice in some cases. 

DOCTORS PURCHASE STAFF POSITIONS 
Staff appointments are most usually a matter of direct or indirect pur- 
chase. It is quite common practice for staff positions in hospitals to be bought 
and sold on the open market. The prices paid by doctors to render services 
without direct pay, to the hospital and clinics are sometimes surprisingly high, 
until one considers the indirect profits. The doctor who pays the highest price 
as a rule receives the staff appointment without regard to qualifications. 

Dr. Louis I. Harris, former Health Commissioner of New York City, 
commented on this widely recognized matter as follows: 

"I know a number of men who stand firmly entrenched in some closed 
hospitals and some of them contribute much to scientific knowledge. 

"On the other hand, I know some who could not stand scrutiny in 
a light that would reveal them honestly. 

“Some of them are men who have acquired much material wealth 
or influential connections which apparently have helped them secure 
positions in hospitals.” 

It is not unusual for the position of chief of staff of a hospital connected 
with a medical school, which carries with it the rank of professor,” to sell 


133 



for sums as high as twenty-five thousand dollars or more. It was common 
practice in the post-graduate medical schools of the country, such as the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, (subsequently incorporated into the Uni- 
versity of Illinois) to give the appointee stock for the money paid in. 

Whether the purchase of staff position ensures any permanence of tenure 
of office depends entirely upon the extent or lack of principle and honesty of 
the members of the lay and medical board of directors. It is common prac- 
tice in hospitals in New York City to demand of the members of the staff that 
they repurchase their positions at intervals. These intervals depend upon the 
rate of diversion of hospital funds by the board. The gouging and extortion 
perpetrated upon the members of the medical staff of these hospitals is some- 
times outrageous. 

DINNER TICKETS AND “CONTRIBUTIONS” 

This traffic in hospital appointments has been highly developed by the 
social service dominated hospital managements. Some hospitals could be oper- 
ated profitably if they had no other source of income than that derived from 
appointment of physicians to staff positions. Whenever the cliques who operate 
the hospitals want to get themselves more funds, they demand from the doctors 
on their staffs additional contributions. Thus out of a clear sky, in the 
middle of the summer of 1932 the vacationing members of the staff of Bronx 
Hospital, of New York City, received telegrams informing them that they 
must immediately contribute one thousand dollars to the hospital if they wished 
to retain their staff positions. 

A favorite method of sale of hospital staff positions is through dinners for 
which tickets must be purchased by phj'sicians or must be sold by them to 
their friends at extortionate rates. Dinners at costs ranging from twenty-five 
to one hundred dollars a plate are quite common. The latter rate prevailed 
for the tickets to the dinners of a Bronx hospital given prior to removal to 
its new building several years ago. The profession was openly apprized that 
positions on the staffs of the clinic and the hospital could be bought on the 
basis of the number of tickets purchased by the physician or sold to his friends. 
The scale started at five tickets, or five hundred dollars, for a lowly clinic 
position; and ranged to five thousand, or more, dollars for the position of 
chief of a hospital staff. 

At the Beth David Hospital, of New York City, the price range of the 
tickets and of the jobs was more modest. The hospital eventually opened 
after raising large sums over a period of a decade or more for the building 
which merely cost several hundred thousand dollars when completed. 

It is generally the younger, junior physician and the politically lesser fry 
who are most consistently and extort ionately plundered. The requirement 
of the medical practice acts of several states that a graduate in medicine have 
one year of hospital internship has proved an excellent device for extortion. 
It has made the sale of the position of intern a lucrative business for many 
hospital gangs. 

STAFF DOCTORS MUST “AIM TO SATISFY” 

The purchase of a staff position, or its acquisition for other considerations, 


134 



does not insure promotion or even continued possession. Especially' in the 
hospitals and institutions in which the direct purchase of position is spurned 
as crude and offensive to the sensibilities of the grafters and racketeers who di&- 
pose of appointments, the coin of payment has often become quite debased. 
The subordinate members of staffs are entirely dependent for their tenure of 
position upon the whim of their superiors. They must “aim to satisfy/ 1 

The superior, the “chief/' must be wooed by his subordinates. In ex- 
ceptional cases they may hold their positions by influence with the board 
of directors or by social or business position. Otherwise they must hold the 
superior's good will in any way that it can be held — politics, friendship, 
service, flattery, purchase or other means. 

An absolute requisite for securing and retaining hospital appointments is 
to build up the medical businesses of the chiefs of staffs of the hospital by 
sending them patients for operation or consultation. The junior staff mem- 
ber must refer to his superiors, patients who will pay them their high or ex- 
orbitant fees, no matter how low may be their professional calibre, if he 
wishes to retain his appointment. 

CALIBRE OF HOSPITAL STAFFS 
As a direct consequence of the hierarchic hospital organization, hospital 
staffs generally are manned by physicians of the most mediocre calibre. Staff 
members in most instances dare not show exceptional ability or originality 
for fear of arousing the chiefs' jealousy. If a subordinate happens to make a 
discovery, even if it be published as usual, under the name of the chief, he 
has raised suspicion. He is suspect as a menace to the position, reputation 
and practice of the chief, and he may be ousted on any pretext. If he pub- 
lishes a discovery without the consent of his chief or of the hospital, even 
though it contains no reference to the hospital, he is certain to be ousted. 
Mediocrity fares best in a “closed hospital/' For this reason there seldom 
emanates from any large metropolitan hospital a substantial contribution to 
medical science. 

I recall asking a physician occupying a junior position on the staff of the 
Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital why he did not publish an interesting 
observation that he had made. He replied : 

“I do not dare. I would be fired from the staff. During the ten 
years that I have been connected with the hospital I have published 
nothing. If I am promoted next year, according to my expectation, I 
will have attained a position which would make it safe for me to publish/' 
Sad is the abasement which has been wrought in medical and hospital 
organization by politics and commercialism. The subjection and subservience 
of the rank and file of the medical profession to its political hospital bosses 
is rendered more startling by the fact that in a great majority of cases no 
emolument, salary or other reward is ever received by them for their services. 
They live in the often forlorn hope that they may succeed to the job of chief 
and enjoy its rich rewards. 

PROFESSION CONSTRAINED TO STAFF HOSPITALS 
They arc forced to serve by a subtle form of slander of the profession 

135 



which has been engineered by collusion of hospital organization, social service 
and organized medicine. It has been bruited about the community that the 
physician who does not serve in hospitals and clinics is “incompetent and not 
to be trusted that a physician “requires the experience of continuous service 
in hospital and clinic.” The public have come to firmly believe these falsehoods 
and propaganda. The rank and file of the medical profession are intimidated 
thus to man the hospitals and clinics even though they derive from them no 
benefits or compensation. 

This practise was brought out into the open in the inaugural address of 
Dr. Douglas, former president of the New York County Medical Society. 
He frankly advocated that the rank and file of the profession be forced to 
man the clinics and hospitals, which could not be run without them. One 
can sense from this attitude the contempt which the bosses of medicine have 
for the rank and file of the profession. 

HOSPITAL GANGS 

Coupled with the propaganda of slander is promotional propaganda to 
create faith in hospital staffs. In many closed hospitals, especially those 
catering to clannish and neurotic foreign or religious elements, much pub- 
licity propaganda, innuendo, planning, plotting and manoeuvering is spent 
in the effort to induce their public to believe that the mere association 
with the institution endows the physician with superior virtues and 
abilities. They treat their colleagues with aloofness and contempt. Among 
themselves they form clans with the dual purpose of deriding and riding down 
all colleagues, and of mutually bolstering their reputations and practices. 

They are, in reality, medical gangs intent upon fleecing the public. Their 
tactics, which are a shrewd commercial pose, do not fail to impress their 
public who gullibly turn to them. Once a patient falls into their clutches, he 
is bandied to and fro among the clique, often until his purse is drained; then 
he is cast out. One, or more, such gang can be found in every town or city. 

Denial of admission tQ patients of physicians who are not on their staff 
even in event of emergency, on the false ground that “there are no beds 
available,” is a contemptible trick regularly used by voluntary hospitals to 
discredit and penalize physicians who are not on their staffs; and to enhance 
the reputations and practices of their physicians. Within some hospitals 
discrimination is exercised in favor of a few of their physicians. The public 
soon learns that beds are always available for the favored physician. This 
betrayal of the public is often a telling factor in rivalry for practice. 

The fear of being destroyed by adverse propaganda, and the hope of 
sharing the rewards of staff membership and regularity, make the rank and 
file of the profession flock to serve the clinics and hospitals in building up 
their businesses. Through control of these institutions and the rule which 
bars from their staffs physicians who are not its members, the A. M. A, 
exerts a powerful control over the country's medical business. The “closed” 
hospital is fashioned into a device whereby medical overlords rob the rank 
and file of the profession of their patients and incomes. 


136 



CHAPTER X. 


THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS AND 
THE HOSPITAL RACKETS 

Tiir Surgical Chamber of Commerce 

Jn the field of surgery, the American College of Surgeons shares with 
the A. M. A. control of the monopoly of hospital business. The College is a 
surgical trade organization which combines the functions of labor union 
and chamber of commerce. It is a device whereby its members establish 
for themselves a monopoly of the surgical business, restrict the number of 
surgeons allowed access to hospitals, maintain the fee scale and costs of 
surgery at a high level, and otherwise protect their incomes and prevent any 
encroachment on the field of surgery by the adoption of non-surgical methods 
of treatment that might develop from medical discovery. 

The origin of the American College of Surgeons (A. C. S.) like that of 
the A. M. A. found its roots in business competition. Barbers monopolized 
the field of surgery for centuries. Surgery was spurned by the medical pro- 
fession as beneath its dignity. A survival of this attitude is the British custom 
of denying to the surgeon the title of doctor. 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century and in the early nineteenth, 
the barbers 1 practice of surgery had become quite lucrative. The medical 
profession began to cast invidious eyes at surgery and openly engaged in 
hattle with the guilds of the barbers and “chyrurgiens 11 for its monopoly. 
Then cognizance was again taken in the mid-nineteenth century of the ancient 
and “sinful 11 practice of anesthesia, and it was reintroduced. Later recog- 
nition of Pasteur's proof of the bacterial origin of infections was forced upon 
medicine, and became the basis of safer, aseptic surgery. These developments 
made it possible to open and drain abscesses of the abdomen, such as appen- 
dicitis, with some hope of survival of the patient. When surgery was thus 
made more pleasant and lucrative, the organized medical profession grabbed it 
from the barbers. 

Surgery soon became acclaimed as a cure-all. The surgeon became 
transformed from a scorned barber-butcher to a popular hero, and accordingly 
his fees and income rose. This brought a grand rush of recruits to the field 
of surgery. 

By the end of the first decade of this century, competition in the surgical 
business became very keen. Surgical fees dropped steadily to lower levels. 
Surgeons competed openly for business by paying their colleagues for services 


137 



rendered them in preparing the case for operation, and in building up their 
reputations, practices, and incomes. As competition among surgeons grew 
keener, they offered for these legitimate services a steadily larger share of 
their fees. Not even the “closed hospitals 1 ' and their monopoly of hospital 
facilities could stem the tide of competition. 

At this juncture, a group of politically influential surgeons got together 
to protect their businesses. They formed the American College of Surgeons. 
This was about the same time the A. M. A. was engaged in protecting the 
incomes of its bosses, and reducing competition with the aid of the General 
Education Fund, by putting out of business the majority of the country’s 
medical schools. 

The A. C. S. plan is to lead the public to believe by intensive publicity 
and advertising that its members are the only honest and competent surgeons, 
and that they alone are intent upon protecting the lives of the public. The 
initial membership was restricted to a group of surgeons controlling the hos- 
pital facilities of communities, who would pay the initiation and twenty-five 
dollars membershp dues, and, most important of all, who would sign a pledge 
not to “split fees.” They conferred upon themselves the title and trade- 
mark, F. A. C, S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons). 


HOLDING DOWN COMPETITION 

As a part of the program of the F. A. C. S. to protect their incomes, 
they deliberately restrict the number of surgeons to whom they extend the 
stamp of their approval and the hospital privileges which it implies. They 
do this more with an eye to a monopoly of surgical business than to the needs 
of the community. The A. C. S. acknowledged a shortage of its brand of 
surgeons at its 1939 convention, and announced that it was planning to in- 
crease the number by five hundred Fellows a year. 

The device that the A. C. S. employs to restrict the number of surgeons 
and to protect the business of its Fellows is perfect. Through its joint grip 
on the hospitals shared with the A. M. A. and the Social Service Trust, it 
bars non-members from appointment to significant surgical positions that yield 
material returns directly or indirectly. Membership is limited by local boards 
composed of F. A. C. S. engaged in practice in the same community as the 
applicants, often in competition with them. 

As might be expected under the circumstances, a great majority of the 
applicants arc rejected by the boards composed of their competitors. Thus 
in October 1929 about six thousand surgeons who had served for years on 
the stafFs of hospitals throughout the country applied for acceptance and 
fellowship in the A. C. S. with full proof of their experience and skill. Five 
thousand were turned down and returned to their communities to continue 
to practice surgery, many in “approved” hospitals, without the seal of “ap- 
proval” of the A. C. S, The College did not undertake to protect the 
public from their supposed lack of skill ; but the F. A. C. S. did protect them- 
selves from business competition. 


138 



The need for this type of restriction for maintenance of large, monopo- 
listic surgical businesses for a small group of F. A. C. S. surgeons is manifest. 
Surgery per sc is a simple mechanical art that can be learned readily by a 
moron. There are few operations as complicated as rebuilding a pair of 
shoes. Far more important are diagnostic ability > medical judgment and 
skill* which require infinitely greater ability than the mechanics of surgery. 
But these contraindicate operation and dictate medical treatment so often 
that they are not favored greatly by the surgical gang, for they hurt business. 

THE COBBLER SURGEON 

An example that illustrates how little exceptional ability is required by 
the mechanics of surgery is related in a tale, forwarded to the New York 
Times from Russia by Walter Duranty, about a cobbler, Ivan Kolesnikoff, 
who posed as a surgeon for eight years. He acquired the documents of a 
Dr. Nelskij and on their strength became assistant surgeon at the Tashkent 
Hospital. He was rapidly promoted to the rank of chief surgeon at Samar- 
kand and later made chief surgeon of a group of hospitals around Kieff. 
Even after he became known as an impostor* and prosecution was urged by 
local physicians who resented the competition, superiors supported him as a 
man of practical efficiency. When he finally was sent to prison for six 
years, it was brought out that he was a very rapid operator and that the 
mortality rate of his six hundred major operations was lower than the average 
of competing surgeons . 


COMMERCIAL ADVANTAGES OF F. A. C. S. 

There are very distinct advantages to fellowship in the A. C. S. Because 
of its acceptance of social service domination* the A. C. S., its appointments 
to fellowship and its ff . Approved Hospitals” are widely publicized in the press. 
This serves as free advertisement of the Fellows as they are appointed. 

This selective advertisement of its brand of surgeon does not satisfy 
the A. C. S. Periodically it attacks the balance of the profession in the 
press with false and libelous allegations which directly, or by innuendo, 
stamp all who are not F. A. C. S. as incompetent, dishonest, and not to 
be trusted. 

On this score one of the Fellows of the A. C. S. wrote a letter of protest 
in 1931 to the magazine Medical Economics reading as follows: 

“To the Editor: 

“I believe that it may fall to the lot of your publication some day 
to point the way to the broader methods of business in our professional 
attitude* instead of our covetous one from which a change is needed if 
we are to hold public respect and confidence. 

“Personally I cannot bring myself to believe that the closed hospital 
is a just restriction to the younger men. I, as a Fellow of the American 
College of Surgeons, believed that standardization of our hospitals 
would work for betterment of all concerned. But I was wrong. 

139 



"It has made mean and narrow political cliques. It has become a 
great factor in the creation of medical trust . J. O.” 

A. C. S. ALIBI 

The A. C. S. seeks to justify its activities by asserting that it protects 
the public by certifying to the superior competence of surgeons on the staffs 
of hospitals that it advertises as “approved.” These representations are often 
false. When political convenience dictates, the A. C. S. “approves” hos- 
pitals from the staffs of which its “approved” brand of Fellows are ousted and 
replaced by surgeons whom those Fellows openly denounce as incompetent. 

Such was the case, for example, at Harlem Hospital of New York City 
a number of years ago. The surgical director, a political appointee, was 
publicly charged with “incompetence, inexperience and poor surgical judg- 
ment” by veteran members of the surgical staff who were also Fellows of 
the A. C. S. The protesting F. A. C. S. were ousted together with a large 
part of the staff of the hospital. For political motives, some were replaced 
by surgeons who had been denied fellowship by the A. C. S. on the grounds 
of lack of experience or competence. The allegedly incompetent director 
retained his position. And the Harlem Hospital continued to be “approved” 
though neither reply or denial was ever made to the charges, and in spite 
of deplorable conditions of overcrowding, inadequate equipment, and abuse 
and neglect of patients. 

The A. C. S. misrepresents facts in still another manner. Even the 
most honest F. A. C. S., the “specialist in surgery,” is certain to be biased 
in favor of surgery, for self-interest compels it. He is emotionally opposed 
to non-mutilating medical therapy. The most eminent surgical specialists 
of the A. C. S. perform many needless operations. 

NEEDLESS OPERATIONS AT A MEDICAL CENTER 

Cases readily come to mind. The most flagrant is that of Mrs. Sadie 
Rosenberg. She suffered from a serious ailment that progressively paralyzed 
the muscles of the eyelids so that she could not open her eyes ; the muscles of 
her eyes so that she could not move her eyes; the muscles of her face and jaws 
so that her mouth would fly open involuntarily and she could not close it ; the 
muscles of her throat so that she could not swallow food, except in the early 
part of the day, without the sensation or danger of choking; and the muscles 
of her body so that she tired rapidly and could scarcely muster enough energy 
to care for herself. 

In the first stage of the illness when she suffered only from drooping of 
the lids, Mrs. Rosenberg placed herself in the care of the Columbia-Pr esby- 
terian Medical Center and its associated Neurologic Institute and Eye In- 
stitute. There she was treated over a period of four years almost continuously 
She was admitted to the hospital eight times. Thirteen different diagnoses of 
her condition were made by the hospital and professorial staffs, none of which 
proved correct. 

She was operated for correction of the drooping lids and the paralysis of 
the eye muscles three times by Dr. John Wheeler, one of the most widely and 


140 



spectacularly advertised eye surgeons in the world; and later was slated for a 
fourth eye operation by an equally prominent, recently deceased Mt. Sinai eye 
suigcon. Dr. Byron Stookey, professor of brain surgery, made a tentative 
diagnosis of tumor of the brain following injection of air into the patient’s 
spine and the taking of encephalograms. Dr. L. M. Davidoff ordered x-ray 
treatment of the head for one year, at the end of which time cataracts bad 
developed in both eyes. Though numerous x-rays were taken, a tumor in the 
mid-region of chest was entirely overlooked. Dr. George Crile, called into 
consultation, diagnosed the patients condition as glandular but beyond hope on 
the same day that the patient was brought to me* 

In three weeks after I added several items, including vitamins A, B, C, E 
and G, salt, manganese, and liver to her diet and placed her on glandular 
treatment, complete motion was restored to eyes and eyelids except where the 
scars of previous operations interfered. Thirteen years later, still under 
treatment, Mrs* Rosenberg is active, free of myasthenia and performs fully 
her household duties. 

The correct and obvious diagnosis in this case was myasthenia gravis, a 
medical disorder which required no operative interference. The treatment 
which I used was largely my original discovery. 

FEE-SPLITTING VS. SURGICAL MONOPOLY 

It is characteristic of the bias of the American College of Surgeons that 
its first activity, according to the story which it has published in numerous 
newspapers and magazines, was directed against “fee-splitting” 

“Fee-splitting” is an epithet which has been coined by the clever publicity 
men of the A. C* S, for their propaganda to cast a stigma upon the in- 
trinsically honest practice of the payment of a fee by one physician to another 
for services rendered* This publicity has led the public to believe that though 
payment for services rendered is honest in every other vocation, if the parties 
involved be physicians it is dishonest. 

They represented to the public that the practice of “fee-splitting” stimu- 
lated much needless and incompetent surgery* The truth of the matter is 
the reverse. The presence of the family physician in surgical cases is often a 
protection for the patient against incompetent and needless surgery. For the 
family physician is dependent for his future and his income on the continued 
relations with a satisfied patient; and no intelligent physician would risk his 
relations with the patient, hi$ family, and his associates by deliberately jeop- 
ardizing life* 

The surgeon who gains his cases by virtue of the position conferred upon 
him by the A. C. S. and his monopoly of hospital facilities can disregard the 
sensibilities and the vital interests of the patient as completely as he disre- 
gards his obligation to the colleague who has had the responsibility and work 
of preparing the case for him* Certainly there is more inducement to such 
a dishonest surgeon to do needless surgery in a whole fee than there is in 
half a fee. 

The falseness of the pretended motive of the A. C. S. and its Fellows 
in their war on “fee-splitting” becomes more apparent when one discovers 
that among its founders and officers were some of the most notorious fee- 

14.1 



splitters of their day. One of the ranking executives of the College built up 
his practice, at the beginning of the century, by paying commissions, or 
“split fees, ,> to barbers, bootblacks, janitors, bartenders and any merchant 
who would send him cases. 

It is notable that Fellows of the A. C. S. have been leaders in the 
movement to legitimatize “fee-splitting” during the past decade. A recent 
president of the New York County Medical Society acknowledged in his 
inaugural address that “fee-splitting” is not an evil; that it is a necessity 
under present medical and hospital organization ; and that many abuses could 
be eliminated by placing “fee-splitting” on an open and honest basis, as in 
the other professions. 

The A. C. S. itself acknowledges that its attitude towards “fee-splitting” 
is false. It acknowledges in its publicity releases that its Fellows, who are 
not honest enough to openly pay for services rendered to them by colleagues, 
cannot be trusted not to do needless operations when they receive the whole 
fee. It confesses the need of a check on its Fellows and asserts that it de- 
mands a check-up on the work of its advertised brand of surgeons, in the 
form of a report of the pathologist’s findings on the tissue removed at oper- 
ation and by other equally ineffective methods of control. 

But it is common knowledge how very frequently ill-advised and needless 
operations, also abortions, are performed upon patients in the most repre- 
sentative “closed hospitals,” with apparently full justification in the pa- 
thologist’s reports. Pathologists must live; and to do so they must continue 
to hold their jobs. The surgeon in the “closed hospital” is protected by a 
cloak of secrecy and has only his own conscience to consult on the question 
of operating. It is but natural that his judgment should be prejudiced in his 
own favor, especially if the fee be sizeable. This is the significance of the 
proposals for “scoring” of operations made before meetings of the A. C. S., 
most recently at the October 1939 meeting in Philadelphia. 

“APPROVED” METHODS OF “PURSE-SPLITTING” 

It safely can be said that there is no member of the American College of 
Surgeons, or of any other group of physicians, who does not pay directly or 
indirectly, in some manner, for services rendered to him by some other phy- 
sicians. In some cases the payment is made socially; in others it is made by 
deliberate losses in a game of chance, cards or dice; or it may be made by 
exchange of consultations, many of which are undeniably a needless tax upon 
the patients’ purse, which practise goes by the name of “purse-splitting.” 

An amusing variant of the formula for evading the “fee splitting” in- 
junction has recently come into vogue, originated by Dr. B. a wealthy 
veteran surgeon who like many others is a “reformed fee splitter.” A 
doctor went to him and said ; 

“Dr. B , I wish to refer to you an operative appendix case who is 

willing to pay one thousand dollars for his operation. What will my 
share be?” 

“You know I do not split fees. I am beyond that,” said Dr. B 

with an appearance of indignation. 


14 2 



“Never mind- Do not grow indignant. There is many another 
equally capable surgeon that I can get to do it who will not hesitate to pay 
me for my services in the case,” said the doctor, walking out of Dr. 
B . . . . ’s office. 

When the doctor arrived back at his office, he found a message from 
Dr. B. . . asking that he call back. He called. 

“I bet you five hundred dollars,” said Dr. B. . . “that your diagnosis 
of acute appendicitis is wrong.” 

Needless to say, he got the operation and lost the five hundred dollar 
bet to the referring physician. 

The consultation method of “sharing” the patient’s purse is approved, 
endorsed and recommended by the American College of Surgeons, the Ameri- 
can Medical Association and other representative, “ethical” societies. With 
tongue in cheek, medical “leaders” inform the public that these consultations 
are all “in the interest of the patient.” The patient whose purse is flattened 
by needless consultations knows otherwise. 

The arrant hypocrisy of the pretenses of the American College of Surgeons 
regarding “fee-splitting” becomes obvious when one considers in how many 
ways its Fellows pay for the steering of business into their offices- To the 
extent that the publicity of the A- C. S. in favor of its Fellows serves to build 
up their business, even the twenty-five dollar annual dues which they pay 
the organization constitutes “fee-splitting.” 

The purchase of hospital positions, with whatever coin, constitutes “fee- 
splitting” with the hospital. It constitutes payment for the advertising, pub- 
licizing and boosting by the hospital, and payment of commission for the 
direct reference of patients to the doctor’s office. 

Evidently cupidity, that very human failing, made painful to the “fee- 
splitting” surgeons who had become bosses of the surgical racket, the process 
of paying out to colleagues of the rank and file money collected. But they 
did not dare to refuse as individuals to pay their colleagues for the services 
rendered. They feared that the latter would take their cases to equally 
competent surgeons who would adopt a more honest attitude- They there- 
fore found it necessary to make “fee -splitting” a sin and a crime, to protect 
their incomes. “Medical ethics” thus serves medical business. 

It is significant that a hypocritic attitude toward “fee-splitting” has gained 
legal recognition in New York State. In 1927, Henry Stern bequeathed 
his estate of more than two hundred thousand dollars to seven New York 
hospitals on the condition that the members of the hospital staffs should 
donate to the hospitals ten percent of the incomes that they earned in the 
hospitals. This proviso merely takes cognizance of the fact that doctors 
regularly do purchase hospital positions and the business which emanates 
from them. In a contest by the hospitals, the courts overruled this clause 
of the will on the pretense that such “fee-splitting is not permitted by medical 
ethics.” 

“APPROVED HOSPITAL” FARCE 
The full extent of the hypocrisy and the dishonest commercialism of the 
situation comes to light in other activities. The A. C. S., jointly with *he 


143 



American Medical Association, has annually publicized its “approval of hos- 
pitals.” They have represented to the public that they inspect the hospitals 
with an eye to their safety, the quality of accommodations and services ren- 
dered, and the protection of life and stimulation to recovery which they offer. 
Each year the A, C. S. releases for publication in newspapers a list of “ap- 
proved” hospitals which it advertises to the public as follows: 

“Before seeking the services of a hospital, be sure to determine that 
it has been approved by the American College of Surgeons, so that you 
may be sure that its condition will in every way contribute to your rapid 
recovery.” 

This representation of the American College of Surgeons and its allies 
often is absolutely false. Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn, for example, 
became notorious for maltreatment of patients. The food was not fit for 
humans, and the buildings were dilapidated rat- and fire- traps lepeatedly 
condemned by the Building Department of New York City during more than 
a decade. The horrible conditions in the hospital were fully exposed in the 
report of the Commissioner of Accounts Higgins in 1928. 

A Grand Jury composed of laymen said of the hospital in a presentment 
handed up to Judge Algernon L Nova: 

“The chronic and incurable male patients, numbering about three 
hundred, are housed in a building that was erected in 1869. Fire doors 
have been installed, but they are not self-closing. 

“The chronic and incurable female patients, numbering about two 
hundred and sixty, are housed in a building that was erected about i860. 
The eastern wall of this building is shored up with timber and the 
eastern wards have been cleared of patients because of the danger of 
the walls falling. 

“Large numbers of these chronic and incurable patients arc bedridden. 
The only outlook in life for all the patients is the day when they pass 
to their eternity. Pending that day, the County of Kings keeps them 
in two fire-traps. Could a more horrible picture be painted in words 
than this? . . . 

“No doubt, in making these criticisms we are following the footsteps 
of many grand juries.” 

The A. M. A. and the American College of Surgeons gave this Kings 
County Hospital its highest rating, “Fully Approved.” I filed a protest 
with the American College of Surgeons against the travesty and betrayal of 
public trust involved in certifying the safety of this hospital. Dr. M. T. 
McEachern, Director of Hospital Activities of the A, C, S. replied. He 
acknowledged that the “physical plant of the hospital is not the most desirable / 1 
but justified the false recommendation of the hospital to the public as de- 
sirable and safe because “it has a staff of outstanding physicians, surgeons, 
and specialists,” a majority of which surgeons were honored members of the 
A. C. S. and the A. M. A. 

Dr. McEachern ’s reply implied that the criterion of the A. C. S. in cer- 
tifying a hospital as “Fully Approved” is primarily, principally or solely this: 


144 



5 * s a mono P°ly of the facilities of the hospital given to surgeons 
\v o are F. A, C. S., who have signed the pledge not to honestly pay for 
services rendered them by colleagues, not to split fees, and to maintain 
the surgical price scale ?” 


The degrading picture is not complete without comment on the “out- 
standing physicians, surgeons and specialists,” F.A.C*S., on this “closed hos- 
pital V* staff. Not one of them had dared to expose the ugly situation of 
which they were well aware, or to uphold their “Hypocritic Oath” and protect 
their patients in a manner commanded by honesty and humanity. 

On the contrary, they issued to the press a statement denying the existence 
of these conditions which were so well confirmed as to constitute a public 
scandal. 

The Kings County Hospital case is not an isolated instance. The Cum- 
berland Hospital, of Brooklyn, for instance, had always been rated as “Fully 
Approved” though it was repeatedly condemned, and was finally closed down 
by Commissioner of Hospitals, Dr. J. G. W. Greeff as in momentary danger 
of collapse. Many hospitals that are recommended to the public by both the 
A. C. S. and the A. M. A. are scandalously unsafe, insanitary and a menace 
to the health and lives of their patients. 


METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL: “APPROVED” 

Numerous hospitals widely advertised by the American College of Surgeons 
as “Approved” place in jeopardy the health and lives of their patients and 
should be condemned and torn down. And it is equally true that the accommo- 
dations, food and treatment accorded the patients in numerous of those hos~ 
pitals can only serve to impair their chances of recovery. 

At the Metropolitan Hospital in New York some phases of surgery were 
practised, as recently as a decade ago, with no regard to asepsis and as crudely 
as they might have been a century ago. As a consequence of disregard of 
asepsis and sanitation, over two hundred cases of cross-infection of scarlet 
fever, measles and diphtheria, with a number of deaths of children, on one 
occasion forced quarantining the entire building in which the children's wards 
were located. 

With a reporter for a New York newspaper, George Kenney, I inspected, 
about that time, the tuberculosis wards of the Metropolitan Hospital. We 
found that less than half the patients were provided with sheets or blankets. 
In order to keep the patients warm, the windows of the wards were kept 
closed at all times. Even the nurses and medical staff agreed that the food 
which was given to the patients was not fit for humans. The tuberculous 
patients of the hospital were getting neither fresh air nor proper food, the 
two essentials for the treatment of the disease. 

One amusing episode brightened this grim tour of inspection. News of 
our inquiries about blankets was relayed to the superintendent of the hos- 
pital. On ringing for the elevator at the end of our inspection, the response 
was long delayed. When the elevator finally arrived, it was loaded with 
blankets hurriedly brought from a warehouse located on the same island on 


145 



which the Metropolitan Hospital stands. The Metropolitan Hospital was 
* ‘approved” by the American College of Surgeons, 

USUAL CONDITIONS VARY “ONLY IN DEGREE" 

These conditions arc not unusual in hospitals. Children admitted for 
tonsillectomy have been known to leave the hospital with a cross infection 
of syphilis. The firm which supplied the municipal hospitals of New York 
City for many years, was successfully prosecuted on several occasions for 
furnishing to those hospitals milk which had been condemned as unfit for 
human use. This milk was fed to sick babies. The hospital epidemics 
among infants, which are publicized from time to time because of an ex- 
cessive number of deaths, are generally due to such milk causing dysentery 
or cholera infantum. 

When the interns of the City Hospital (New York) complained that 
roaches floated in their soup and cereals, they were told that they had no 
reason for complaint, since the patients did not complain about it. 

In 1918, Miss Mildred Blackney, a city nurse in Ward CI-E of the 
Cancer-Neurological Hospital shocked the members of the New York City 
Board of Estimates by a description of conditions which prevailed in the 
hospital. 

“I had one case of amputation of the breast/’ Miss Blackney said. 
“When I came on duty I was told to watch that case. I lifted up her 
arm and found hundreds of ants crawling over her." 

“This should have been brought to the attention of the Commissioner 
of Hospitals," Councillor Newbold Morris suggested. 

“The Commissioner knows about it. I reported it and the night 
nurse came to me and said, ‘Why did you tell on us?’ " 

“Why can’t this be stopped?” asked Deputy Mayor Curran, who 
represented junketing Mayor LaGuardia. 

“You can’t stop it because they are coming out of the walls/’ replied 
Director Luciel McGorkey of the C.I.O. “That hospital has rats, mice, 
bedbugs, cockroaches, ants and everything else. This has been brought 
to the attention of officials repeatedly." 

This hospital was “approved” by the American College of Surgeons — lice, 
ants, rats, mice and everything else. Though the LaGuardia administration 
has pretended that the City of New York lacks the funds to remedy these 
wretched conditions, it has found millions to spend on building pretentious 
Health Centers that serve largely to provide offices for social service agencies 
and boondoggles. These facilities provided in these wasted and almost empty 
edifices would do much to relieve the hospital overcrowding. But hospitals 
do not serve the ends of social service agencies, milk companies, insurance 
companies and allied organizations that now control health departments. In 
the meantime the helpless sick are left in wretched misery. 

Some idea of the universality of such hospital conditions is given by the 
preamble of a resolution adopted at a meeting of hospital workers organized 
in the SMWCA in 1939. It reads: 


146 



“Whereas: the twelve and even thirteen-hour shifts prevail in the ma- 
jority of hospitals; and 

“Whereas: hospital employees are frequently required to live in unsanitary 
fire-trap dwellings ; and 

“Whereas: the food served hospital employees is usually unpalatable and 
lacking in nourishment; and 

” Whereas: responsibility for the care of 80 to 100 patients is not infre- 
quently placed upon one nuise and one orderly; and 

“Whereas: low salaries, long hours, and understating vary in hospitals 
throughout the country only in degree; and 

“Whereas: these conditions do not permit of adequate, safe care for the 
sick; . . 

F. A. C. S. WAR ON PRIVATE HOSPITALS FOR BUSINESS 

The commercial motives which underlie the A. C. S. hospital activities 
are obvious in its attitude toward the generally luxurious private hospitals, 
which extend their facilities to all doctors and consequently arc a menace to the 
monopoly of surgery which is sought by the A. C. S. This menace was inten- 
sified during the depression because the charges of the “charitable/’ voluntary 
hospitals were so much higher than those of the private. 

To eliminate the competition, the publicity men of the A, C. S. and of its 
social service allies launched venomous, libelous attacks on the private hospitals, 
which were freely published in the daily press, though all replies were barred 
by censorship. It was alleged among other things that all private hospitals 
endanger the health and lives of the public. The president of the New York 
County Medical Society, local representative of the A. M. A., in his in- 
augural address told the public that the majority of operations performed 
in the private hospitals are needless and illegal. The truth of the matter 
is that the greater number of such operations is performed with impunity 
in the “closed hospitals” where the friendly consultations and the cloak of 
secrecy protect their perpetrators. 

The motive for these attacks was clearly announced by the United Hos- 
pital Fund, through Assistant Director Dr. Eleanor Conover, as an attempt 
to remedy the loss of business by the voluntary hospitals and their doctors. 
The falseness of the charges against the private hospitals was proved conclu- 
sively when the A. C. S. was forced to place numerous private hospitals on 
the “approved” list because of the slump in business of its Fellows who re- 
fused to treat patients in the superior and cheaper private hospitals. It is a 
tribute to the great power of the organization that none of the libelled private 
hospitals dared to sue for damages done to their businesses. Subsequently when 
business again slumped, many of the private hospitals were again removed 
from the “approved” list. 

The fight on the private hospitals was continued for a while in a treach- 
erous and underhanded fashion. Social service organizations, such as the 
Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York 
City, sought to intimidate and restrain the staff members of hospitals -which 
it supports from patronizing private hospitals by demanding a detailed report 


147 



of every case which they there treated. The pretended reason was fear that 
the doctors might “split fees’ ’ in the private hospitals, and the Federation- 
supported hospitals might lose thereby their A, C. S. approval* The false- 
ness of this pretense is made obvious by the fact that physicians do not re- 
main on the staffs of many of those hospitals long, if they fail to make 
contributions deemed adequate* 

F. A, C. S. WAR ON MUNICIPAL HOSPITALS FOR BUSINESS 

Another demonstration of the commercialism of the A. C. S. and its 
social service allies was the war waged in 1932 by the voluntary “closed" 
hospitals on the municipal hospitals of New York City for Workmen’s Com- 
pensation Insurance business. A ruling of the State’s Attorney- General had 
permitted the insurance companies to hospitalize injured employees as charity 
cases in municipal hospitals. This cheap business, at which the surgical mer- 
chants sniffed in times of prosperity, depression converted into an enviable 
morsel. 

Under these circumstances the F. A. C. S. and the voluntary hospitals, 
with their social service allies, awakened to the discovery that injured em- 
ployees were not getting adequate care and were being swindled out of their 
compensation ; also that hospitals were not being adequately paid for the care 
of the cases. A Committee on Workmen’s Compensation Insurance was 
appointed to investigate the situation by Governor Roosevelt. Mr. Howard 

E. Cullman, president of the Beekman Street Hospital, a director of the 
Flower Hospital, director of the Port Authority of New York, and champion 
of the social service interests, was appointed chairman of the committee. 

The American College of Surgeons with its social service allies, issued 
publicity releases which lamented at great length the abuse of the injured 
worker; and advocated its “Approved Hospitals” and its own biand of sur- 
geon as a remedy. It failed to state that the municipal hospitals in which 
these frauds and malpractices were being perpetrated were also “Approved 
Hospitals”; and that the perpetrators were also F. A, C. S* 

The active interest of Mr. Cullman, and of his committee and its allies, 
in the abuses of the Workmen’s Compensation Act ceased when the law and 
its administration had been changed to bar compensation cases from municipal 
hospitals, and turned the business over to the voluntary hospitals at a higher 
per diem rate. In spite of the fact that the injured workers now are being 
treated under the amended law even more mercilessly than formerly, the 

F. A. C. S. and their allies are no more interested in the abuses of the law. 
The American College of Surgeons and the insurance companies are once again 
allies and “approved” voluntary hospitals are perpetrating the same abuses 
which were condemned in the Crusade; but now influential F. A. G S, are 
profiting from them. 

HOSPITAL WARS 

Competition for medical business is widespread between the “closed” 
hospitals themselves, as well as between cliques within the hospitals and 
between individual members of the hospital staffs. Commercial interests of 
the profession stew continuously in the corrupt mess of hospital politics, a 


148 



game of dog eat dog.” It matters little to the principals that innocent third 
parties, the patients, lose their lives in the fray. 

On rare occasions the continuous guerilla warfare of the “closed” hospital 
brigands, that normally is sheltered by the secrecy of the system, flares up 
into bitter and open battle and emerges into the courts. The press then 
brings it to public attention. Thus the Fifth Avenue Hospital of New York 
City, which was built and endowed as a homeopathic hospital, has staged a 
public battle for the control of the business attracted by that well-built and 
attractively located institution. The battle has run through the courts for a 
decade or more* 

The homeopaths made the mistake of extending the courtesy of the use 
of their hospital to allopathic confreres. The latter soon banded together, 
and with little regard for principle, ethics or decency, proceeded to oust 
their hosts from the hospital. When Frank N. Hoff stott, with other con- 
tributors to the institution, sued the clique to prevent them from eliminating 
the homeopaths, Supreme Court Justice Peter Schmuck gave them little 
comfort. They did not regain control of the hospital and its business until 
depression threatened its bankruptcy. They were enabled to recapture it by 
virtual foreclosure, thanks to a windfall bequest of millions from the Wendel 
estate to the homeopathic Flower Hospital Medical School. 

Then another allopathic clique, the Johns Hopkins Medical School crowd, 
gained control of the business of both the hospital and the medical school 
through the Rockefeller Foundation. A young henchman of the Johns Hop- 
kins group, Dr. Ferdinand Lee, was made the Dean of the Flower Hospital 
Adedical School. He promptly appointed fellow alumni and chums to the 
heads of the various staffs and they proceeded to demand the wholesale resigna- 
tion of the veteran staffs. 

Similar wars between factions closed the Italian Hospital and rocked the 
Harlem Hospital in New York City at about the same time. 

HOW A HOSPITAL WINS A. C. S. "APPROVAL” 

How the A. C. S. serves its ringleaders and their allies is illustrated by 
the affair of the "approval” of the Beth David Hospital of New Yore City, 
the conduct of whose business already has been related. In spite of its widely 
known business methods and in spite of the dilapidation and squalor of its 
buildings, the hospital was "approved” by the American College of Surgeons. 

After collecting unknown amounts of money for many years, the Beth 
David Hospital moved, in 1936, into a large and modern building that was 
close to the affluent residential district. This meant competition to the 
established hospitals and surgeons in times that were trying. 

Within a short time after its removal to the new building which was as 
suited for hospital purposes as the old had been unsuited, the Beth David 
Hospital found itself in difficulties with the American College of Surgeons. 
It found its name omitted from the list of “approved” hospitals that is widely 
published by the A. C. S. in local newspapers. Due to the intense adverse 
publicity that the College can bring to bear on any institution that it desires, 
and due to the fear of the F. A. C. S. and those who aspired to that label, 


1+9 



the business of the hospital rapidly fell off and it faced another of its series 
of financial crises. 

The management of the hospital entered into negotiations to repair the 
severe commercial damage which the A. C. S. had inflicted on it. The 
A. C. S. demanded that the hospital's surgeons be ousted and replaced by 
other F. A. C. S. In January 1939, the chief of the surgical staff, who was 
one of the founders of the hospital, was ousted and his place given to one of 
the influential henchmen of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Frcdeiick 
W. Bancroft F. A. C. S. He was given the rank of surgical director, which 
means boss of the surgical business of the institution, and he brought with 
him a clique of friends who displaced other staff members. At the very next 
meeting of the A. C. S. in October 1939, the Beth David Hospital was 
“approved” and included in the list published in the New York City news- 
papers. 

Among the surgeons whose ousting was required by the A. C. S. were 
the more reputable members of the hospital staff. The excuse offered was 
that they were honest enough to pay other physicians openly for services 
rendered them — “fee-splitting” the A. C. S. calls it. The surgeons with whom 
the A. C. S. replaced them do not pay directly or openly. The influence of 
the F. A. C. S. is powerful enough to compel the hospital and its staff to 
turn over its surgical business to them. 

A number of phases of the situation emphasized its glaring character. 
The hospital was founded and supported by a Jewish sectarian group. The 
surgeons whom they accepted as the price of A. C. S. "approval” were 
non- Jews. 

Among the surgeons originally on the hospital staff who were acceptable 
to the A. C. S. were a number of men who are notorious for their Workmen's 
Compensation insurance activities. One of them has been brought up re- 
peatedly before state officials on charges of solicitation of business, fraud 
perpetrated upon patients, perjury, and others; and has been threatened with 
the loss of his license to practice. Though held in disdain, he is employed 
by Workmen’s Compensation insurance companies to do a lot of dirty-work. 

Under the new regime, many casualties of industry, Workmen's Compen- 
sation cases, have been referred into the Beth David Hospital. Under the 
amended Workmen’s Compensation Law, insurance companies are barred 
from influencing the choice of physician by the injured ; but this does not 
mean that they can not arrange the appointment of surgeons in their employ 
to the staffs of hospitals to which the injured are sent. 

An interesting phase of the background of this incident is the fact that 
Dr. Frederick W. Bancroft F. A. C. S. played a similar role, more than a 
decade prior in the capture of the Fifth Avenue Hospital from the homeo- 
paths. He was ousted from his office on the premises of the hospital and 
from the position of surgical director and boss when the homeopaths re-seized 
the pirated hospital with the aid of the Wen del bequest. 

F. A. C. S. GANG WAGE FIGHT FOR SYDENHAM HOSPITAL 

One of the most malodorous hospital scandals that has come out into the 


150 



open in recent years, that illustrates the bitterness of commercial rivalry 
which the lofty pretensions of the American College of Surgeons mask, is the 
affair of the Sydenham Hospital of New York City. The hospital had been 
founded by some of the lesser rank medical politicians in conjunction with a 
group of business men. The doctors on the staff paid for their hospital jobs 
in proportion to their ranks by contributions and by the purchase of dinner 
and benefit tickets and their sale to friends, and by soliciting donations and 
bequests. In return they split among themselves the business lured by the 
hospital, each man fighting for himself under rules which barred no hold. 
Though some of the hospital surgeons were F. A. C. S. and the hospital was 
“approved,” they were either sufficiently honest to pay for services rendered 
them by colleagues, i e. to “split fees,” or were compelled to do so by com- 
petition. 

When depression hit the medical profession with full force, medical politi- 
cians and gangs reached out to hijack and grab the business of less powerful 
rivals and their hospitals. It became the custom of the more powerful medi- 
cal and hospital groups to seize control of competing institutions, oust the 
staff and to turn over the business to their lesser fry. These hospital raids 
were generally carried out under the banner of the American College of Sur- 
geons on the pretense of “abolishing fee-splitting,” and one of the weapons 
generally used was the threat of withdrawing “approval.” 

In line with this policy, the entrenched gang reached out and grabbed 
control of Sydenham Hospital and its business in 1938. Through the Ameri- 
can College of Surgeons they threatened to withdraw “approval” of the 
hospital and to ruin its business unless they were given control of the hospital. 
They forced over half of the Sydenham's surgeons out on the charge of “fee- 
splitting” and replaced them with their “purse-splitting” Fellows and their 
henchmen. The victorious medical clique counted in its ranks such “leaders” as 
Dr. Alfred M. Heilman, influential politician and president elect of the New 
York County Medical Society, who became the chairman of the hos- 
pital's executive committee; and Dr. David J. Kaliski, past president of the 
same Society and Director of the Workmen’s Compensation Committee of the 
New York State Medical Society. Workmen's Compensation was one of the 
baits. 

Friends of the ousted physicians withdrew their support from the hospital 
and it soon was run to the verge of bankruptcy. To regain the old supporters 
of the hospital, Gustavus A. Rogers, one of the original board of the hospital 
was made president of the lay board of directors. He undertook to put a 
stop to the high-handed procedure of the medical gang in packing the hospital 
with their henchmen and riding rough -shod over other physicians who had 
built up the hospital's business. 

Illustrative of the “high moral, ethical and cultural level” which charac- 
terize all the dealings of the American College of Surgeons and of organized 
medicine was the widely publicized brawl at the mass meeting of the hospital's 
medical staff reported by the New York World-Telegram of January ro, 
1940, as follows : 

“. . . the case of the physician charged . . . with ‘brutally attacking’ an- 


151 



other member of the hospital staff . . . breaking two of his ribs. Apparently 
this was an encounter between Dr, Heilman and Dr. Julius Jarcho, an 
attending obstetrician, at the hospital. There are various versions of 
what happened, one being that Dr. Heilman merely shouldered Dr, 
Jarcho aside, and another that Dr, Heilman used his fists with vigor. ” 

Dr. Jarcho was appointed chairman of the executive committee in Dr, Hell- 
man's place, even though he did take the count. But the fight was “fixed” by 
the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Ralph Colp, the local head of the 
A. C. S. ,is reported to have threatened Dr. Jarcho with the loss of his 
F. A. C. S. if he did not surrender his chairmanship and join the insurgents. 
As this book goes to press, this hospital gang war, like many others, is still 
under way. 

MONOPOLISTIC CONTROL FACILITATED BY HOSPITAL 

SURVEY 

The monopolistic control of hospital facilities by the A.C. S. and its social 
service allies has been made complete and absolute in New York by the 
Hospital Survey. The Committee is completely dominated by organized social 
service and it allies, and in spite of its private character, has official standing. 
Its decisions determine whether a hospital shall receive public and charitable 
support; whether it shall be permitted to appeal to the public for funds; or 
whether it is to shut its doors or to continue to exist. As a consequence of 
its activities it can be expected that in the future the diversion of hospital funds 
will be channeled into the coffers of certain groups represented well on the 
Committee; and that the monopoly of hospital facilities and their use will be 
concentrated in the hands of their allies. Judging by past performance, profits 
rather than public interest will determine the future policies in an ever 
greater degree. The Rockefellers are represented on the Committee by Mrs. 
Winthrop W. Aldrich and David McAlpine Pyle. 

WHAT THE A. C. S. COSTS THE PUBLIC 

In still other manners than setting up a monopoly of surgery and up- 
holding needless consultations, does the American College of Surgeons in- 
crease the cost of surgical care. 

It has added to the mounting cost of hospitalization by requiring many 
wasteful items such as the keeping of needlessly elaborate records. It re- 
quires a multiplicity of “staff conferences” that tax the time of the profession 
and yield scant benefit other than the publicity derived from advertisement 
and from announcements, bearing the names of physicians permitted to present 
cases, that are mailed to the profession. 

The gravest cost of the American College of Surgeons is the cost in 
human life. It is related elsewhere how organized medicine used all the 
machinery at its disposal to prevent the adoption of methods of treating ear 
and mastoid infections that would eliminate the need for mastoid surgery and 
to discredit a method of treatment of glaucoma that would wipe out any 
excuse for the blinding surgical treatment. 


152 



Operative scores, or statistics, required of surgeons and hospitals by the 
A. C. S. contribute heavily to its toll of lives. Though these statistics be 
innocuous in themselves, the consequences of the efforts of individual surgeons 
to hold down their scores results in numerous deaths. 

When there is admitted to an “accepted” hospital a grave surgical case 
involving high operative risk and requiring the most skilled attention, there 
is a grand rush of surgeons, wishing to uphold their scores, to avoid the 
case unless it be lucrative. Three methods of escape are usual: cither the 
case is turned over to a member of the intern staff to operate ; or is left to 
die without operation; or is transferred to another hospital. 

In either case the life of the patient is jeopardized by denial of the most 
competent attention available when it is most needed. Transfer is the 
method of choice in case of patients who appear to be dying after operation. 
So high is the rate of transfer in some institutions that it is hard to under- 
stand why their surgeons’ scores should show any mortality; for the cases 
which die after transfer are not reckoned on the score of the transferring 
institution. The callous brutality involved in this traffic of the dying, 
beggars description and cries for a halt. 

Such are the contributions of the American College of Surgeons and its 
allies— social service organizations and hospital associations — to “protection 
of the health and lives of the public.” 


153 



CHAPTER XL 

THE PUBLIC VS. THE “CLOSED HOSPITAL” 


HE rise of hospitals to their present state of physical development has 

served to improve the care of the ill. Under modern living conditions, such 
as the small and crowded apartments of our cities, hospitals arc essential for 
the care of the seriously ill. Many cases of illness can be cared for effi- 
ciently only in a hospital; for the hospital makes available many of the 
more complicated and cumbersome devices used in modern medical practice. 

The very dependence of the public on its hospitals that compels it to 
accept what is given, makes the abuses which have grown up in them just 
so much more critical and less excusable. Nevertheless, it has become the 
custom of the public to veer away awesomely and foolishly from the dread 
topic of hospital abuses. The traditional attitude is: 

“We must have the hospitals in spite of their abuses. Since we do 
not know what to do to remedy the situation and no one who does 
know is willing to tell us, we may as well accept it and make the best 
of it." 

This attitude of condoning the abuses merely serves to aggravate the 
situation. Therefore, I shall not discuss merely the dangers of hospital 
abuses, but also the remedies. 

The nature of the work done by hospitals and the high physical state 
which some of them have attained has served to hide from public gaze some 
of the serious defects and abuses which have crept into hospital organization 
and management. But the discriminating patient can quickly discern that 
much is wrong in hospital and clinic organization. He feels that he is re- 
garded merely as a cog necessary for the operation of the hospital machinery. 
If he has spirit and demands needed attention, he ranks as a nuisance. Pic 
feels that he is recipient of as much individual attention and interest as a 
boh emitted from an automatic lathe. He is right in this feeling. In addition 
to the reasons which have been related, there are others that are rooted in the 
nature of the hospital rackets that account for it. 

The hospital has become a business device for "mass-production,” adver- 
tising and selling medical and surgical wares. Human values consequently 
may assume curiously distorted proportions in hospitals. Neither patient, 
physician, nurse or personnel count for much in the views of the present-day 
“closed" hospital administration. Its motto is: "Folks come and go, but 
the hospital goes on forever." 

It is only when hospitals seek to lure funds from the public that there 
i$ any pretense of catering to it. The hospital is represented to the public 
as belonging to it. “Contribute to build your hospital " was the typical 
slogan coined by the clever publicity men that raised the funds for the 


154 



Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The patient who has contributed 
to the hospital in response to the fraudulent plea that the hospital belongs 
to him and to the community, may well wonder on receiving his bill whether 
he is not being called upon once again to buy the hospital. 

This phase of the hospital situation is thrown into sharp relief by a very 
pathetic case that has recently come to light. A wealthy contributor who 
had liberally endowed a prominent hospital, lost his fortune during the de- 
pression. He was refused admission by the very hospital that he had en- 
dowed because he could not pay its minimal charges. The high cost of clinic 
and hospital care gravely concerns many folks. 

THE MONETARY COST OF CLINIC CARE 

The monetary cost to the public of clinic care, in contrast to hospital 
charges, is often quite nominal. In municipal clinics no charge is made. In 
the voluntary hospital or pay clinics, the charges may range from pennies to 
dollars. In some of the Medical Center pay clinics charges are sometimes 
higher than in private practice. But the actual total cost in loss of working 
time and wages may run very high. 

An illustration of this cost is case 58 of the One Hundred Neediest 
Cases reported by the New York Times in December 1927. The father 
of a family of three was required to attend a clinic each morning. As a con- 
sequence, he lost his pay for half days; and by exactly that sum he was 
pauperized. Public charity was called upon to donate that sum. The man 
might have had treatment at the hand of a physician privately at a time 
which would not have interfered with his work, and avoided pauperization. 
Eventually his clinic medical care made him a public charge. 

A similar case is that of Leonard P. who suffered from a trivial disorder 
of the nose which he was told by the clinic physician required treatment twice 
a week. He was employed as a cook and earned a fairly good salary, but 
wished to save the relatively trifling cost of private medical care. To attend 
the free Bellevue Clinic he was compelled to drop work at midday and take 
off the balance of the day. As a consequence, he regularly lost his job and 
was more often unemployed than employed. In the end he became a public 
charge. 

Many needless visits are required of clinic patients for mercenary and 
other reasons. It is established practice for cities to pay clinics for the care 
of charity and relief cases, a small sum for each visit. Most voluntary 
clinics extend little charity. Inasmuch as the physician is not usually paid 
for his services, these sums represent profit to the clinics and hospitals. Con- 
sequently, it is demanded of the doctor that he compel the patient to return 
often, however unnecessary that may be, in order that the sums collected by 
the institution may be larger. In addition, the larger the number of patients 
lured into the clinic, the greater will be the business lured into the hospital. 
Even in municipal clinics, the management and the social workers like to 
show ever increasing attendance to justify increasingly larger appropriations. 

Every town has its army of clinic-bred paupers of the type above de- 
scribed, They do not stop to realize that in seeking cheap or “free” care, 


15 $ 



they are losing their jobs and livelihoods. Hospital social service workers 
do not disillusion them, for they know that clinic attendance butters their 
bread. They feel that reference of these sick folks to physicians privately 
would be suicidal. Private practice furnishes no social service jobs; and it 
is therefore the avowed goal of social service to destroy private medical 
practice, no matter what the cost to the community. How little charity is ex- 
tended in the clinics of the voluntary hospitals is indicated by the 1932 annual 
report of the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. It shows that the hospital 
made a profit of almost forty thousand dollars on eyeglasses that it furnished 
its “charity” clinic patients. 

HIGH FEES IN “CLOSED” HOSPITALS 

It is tragic irony that “charitable” hospitals often mean financial ruin 
for the very individuals who have generously contributed to their building and 
support, when they require the services of the hospital. Instances of this can 
be found in almost any large city. In New York City, for instance, no one 
factor has contributed more to the impoverishment of Jewish families in 
normal times than the excessive charges for medical care in the very institu- 
tions which they build and support. 

Most notorious is the case of Mt. Sinai Hospital. By adroit publicity 
and politics, it has built up for itself a reputation for quality of service and 
excellence of medical personnel that it has not earned or deserved for many 
years. When lured thereby to seek the services of the hospital and its staff, 
the subscribers who seek private care are often excessively charged; and cast 
out or thrown into the wards when their funds are exhausted. It might be 
said, with considerable justice, that the most serious disease affecting the 
Jewish folk of New York is “Mt. Sinaisitis.” 

The irony of the situation is intensified when such social service organ- 
izations as the Federation For The Support Of Jewish Philanthropic Societies 
aid and abet the establishment of rapacious “closed” hospital monopolies. Its 
complexion is not improved by the fact that physicians do not remain on the 
staffs of institutions that it supports, if they fail to contribute to the “charity” 
sums of money deemed adequate. 

“CLOSED” HOSPITALS MAINTAIN HIGH COST OF 
SURGICAL CARE 

“Closed” hospital monopolies, fostered by organized medicine, the A. C. S., 
and organized social service raise the cost of medical and surgical care to the 
public. They are not designed to foster either honesty or fairness nor do 
they protect the health and life of the patient. For they compel the family 
physician to surrender the care of his patient who enters a “closed” hospital 
and turn it over to the hospital staff and deny the patient the benefit of truly 
responsible and personalized care. 

The surgeon's responsibility to the patient however is slight and his 
dealings sporadic and occasional. A surgeon's reputation is little affected 
by individual mishaps or deaths. Patients are forced into his hands by the 
“closed” hospital monopoly and must accept his services. He is protected 
by the code of secrecy to which members of the staffs of “closed” hospitals 


156 



are pledged. There is no better way of covering up needless criminal or 
careless surgery than to perform it in a "closed” hospital. 

"Closed” hospital staff members generally charge patients highly for their 
monopolistic services. They also do their best to wean them away from 
outside family physician who loses caste by being excluded from the hospital 
and the care of his patient. If and when the patient is returned to the family 
physician he is often so stripped of funds that he cannot pay for further 
services required. 

The interest of fairness to the patient and his family would be served if 
they were given an all-inclusive fee for operative services which they might 
prepare and budget. That fee should include the charges for the very real 
services rendered by the family physician to both the surgeon and the patient, 
such as making the initial observations and diagnosis, inducing the patient to 
seek the surgeon’s services, arranging the fee, attending the operation, watch- 
ing over the aftercare and following up the results. This should be done 
openly and with the cognizance of the patient. 

Such a plan implies the continued care of the patient by his family phy- 
sician in the hospital. This means elimination of the "closed” hospital 
monopolies. There would result protection of the health and life of the 
patient and a material reduction in surgical costs. 

The relatively high cost of surgery to the American people is amply 
attested by the report of Lee K. Frankel to the Committee on the Cost of 
Medical Care. This report indicated that the average cost of medical care 
among 2,678 families was $37 for a half year. The average cost of surgical 
care in 212 families was $74 exclusive of hospital expenses for the same 
period. In other words, the average cost of surgical care was found to be 
twice that of medical care. 

The monopoly of surgery established through such agencies as the "closed” 
hospitals and the American College of Surgeons contributes largely to the 
high cost of surgical care. But it is by no means solely responsible. 

THE VENERATION- OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC FOR THE SURGEON AND FOR 
SURGICAL PROCEDURE AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO PAY HIGHER FEES FOR 
SURGERY, ARE FUNDAMENTAL REASONS FOR MUCH NEEDLESS SURGERY AND 
FOR THE HIGH COST OF OPERATIONS IN MONEY AND LIFE. 

THE HIGH COST OF HOSPITAL CARE 

Needless hospitalization costs the public heavily. The physicians and 
surgeons who are given monopolies of facilities by "closed” hospitals are 
expected to boost its business and keep its beds filled. Since it is a convenience 
to busy practitioners to have their patients concentrated in hospitals, instead 
of having to visit them in their scattered homes, they are not at all loath to 
impose this item of unnecessary cost on their patients while boosting the 
patronage of their hospitals. 

In the great majority of "voluntary” hospitals interns and nurses-irt- 
t raining receive little or no pay. Pay, and working and living conditions 
of the other workers are so unbelievably poor that even their unionization 
has not succeeded in New York in bringing the average wage level up to 


157 



fifteen dollars per week. The hospitals which continually appeal to the 
charity of the community and play on its gullibility, show little or no charity 
in these dealings. The social service workers and superintendents, alone 
among the workers in the hospitals, are amply or munificently paid. 

Barred by law from showing a profit, these hospitals generally manage 
to show a deficit on their books. They are built and exist on the charity 
and philanthropy of the community, continually begging funds. Though 
they often extend little or no charity to the public, they are exempted from 
taxation and are subsidized by the taxpayers as "charitable institutions.” 

PRIVATE HOSPITALS OFTEN SUPERIOR AND 
SHOW PROFITS 

The exorbitance of the "closed’' hospital charges becomes more apparent 
from a comparison with those of the commercial, proprietary, or private 
hospitals. These hospitals are privately financed and built, and are operated 
for the frank purpose of netting their owners a profit. The contrast is sharp. 

The modern private hospital is a high class hotel for the sick. It receives 
no endowments or contributions from the public. It is erected on valuable 
ground which is purchased for the purpose. The construction is generally 
luxurious, fire-proof and ultra-modern. It is expensively and comfortably 
furnished, and its appointments are the best* The equipment is complete and 
the last word in modernity. No expense is spared to insure the safety, 
comfort and well-being of the patients. They generally pay their help better 
wages than do the voluntary hospitals, and hire help of higher calibre. Unlike 
the voluntary "closed” hospitals, they pay taxes. Nevertheless, private hos- 
pitals generally charge the patient less for the same calibre of service and 
accommodation. And when properly managed, they generally show excellent 
profits. 

The public has discovered that the cost of the superior accommodations 
of the private hospitals is less than in the supposedly "charitable,” voluntary 
hospitals, and the treatment better. The patient in the private hospital is not 
called on to surrender his rights as a man and as a citizen. He is allowed 
to freely choose the physician to whom he will entrust his care. The patient 
is not denied the trusted, competent, and reasonably priced services of a 
physician of his choice as is the case in the voluntary hospital merely because 
that physician is not a member of a monopolizing clique. 

In many communities the voluntary, "closed” hospitals have been able 
to hold their own against the competition of the private hospital only with 
the aid of the corrupt powers of the A.C.S., A.M.A. and social service allies. 

It is not surprising that the private hospitals show good profits when 
properly managed and times are propitious. They are merely hotels for the 
ill. Though the menage of good hotels is even more luxurious and expensive 
than that of a hospital, they generally manage to show good profits when 
well patronized. Not even the plea of expense of special hospital equipment 
can be interposed as an item that imposes higher costs on the hospital; for 
many modern hotels have completely equipped hospitals on their premises for 
the use of their guests and for the help. It had become the custom of many 


158 



physicians in cities such as New York to refer their operative patients to 
hotels for superior hospital service at lesser costs. But the hospital lobby 
stopped this devastating competition by prevailing on the licensing authorities 
to deny licenses to hospitals maintained in hotel premises. 

DEFICITS OF VOLUNTARY HOSPITALS NOT DUE 
TO CHARITY 

The surprising feature of the situation is that the voluntary hospitals can 
manage to show such large deficits in spite of their exorbitant charges. 

When questioned on the matter, hospital authorities point to their “char- 
ity work” as a justification for the losses* But the voluntary hospirals 
generally extend little charity to the community which it does not pay for. 
The ward cases either pay an average of three and a half dollars a day for 
their hospitalization, or the community pays it for them. When no payment 
is available, the voluntary hospitals transfer the cases to public hospitals, often 
at grave risk to health and life. The relatively small amount of occasional 
charity extended by institutions is outbalanced by the charitable contributions 
obtained from the community by appeals and “d rives. 1 ’ 

Charges made by the voluntary hospitals for services in their wards should 
not involve any loss to the institutions if they were efficiently and honestly 
managed. This is made apparent by a comparison with the charges made in 
the second rate and the workmen’s hotels. In hotels of the latter class, a 
modestly furnished room and three meals a day which are adequate for a 
healthy man, may be had at one and a half to two dollars a day. For a bed 
to sleep in, three simple, meagre meals a day, medicine costing a few cents, 
and the moiety of service which costs them little or nothing, the hospitals of 
New York and of other cities charge the ward patient from four to six dollars 
a day; and they cry that “charity” is exhausting their funds. 

HOSPITAL SERVICE PLANS NOT ADEQUATE SOLUTION 

“Hospital funds,” which offer group hospital care for fixed annual 
cnarges in many cities, have partly solved for some of the public one aspect 
of the problem of hospitalization cost. But none of these plans provides for 
the largest item in the cost of illness — private nursing caie. Partial break- 
down of the hospital plan in New York City, which has resulted in cancel- 
lation of many contracts in 1939 and modification of others, indicates that 
more fundamental remedies are necessary. The situation is further aggravated 
by the custom of hospitals of imposing excessive charges for “extras” on the 
“hospital service” cases. The hospital funds also exclude from participation 
persons over the age of sixty-five years, leaving the hospital problem completely 
unsolved for this growing group. 

“Hospital fund” plans, however, do aggravate the problem of the cost 
of medical and surgical care. For they have enabled the tottering “closed” 
hospital system to survive, and have saddled on the public the high costs of 
medical and surgical care which its monopolies foster. This will become 
even more intensified if the American College of Surgeons, the A.l\I*A. and 
their social service allies, who are powerful influences in these plans, succeed 
in their efforts to restrict the benefits solely to “approved” hospitals. 


159 



The solution of the problem of hospital costs rests primarily in the elim- 
ination of dishonesty, corruption, and rackets — in honest administration. 

CLINIC TOLL OF HEALTH AND LIFE 

As a result of concentration of the ill, and the crowding together of the 
non-infectious and undiagnosed infectious and contagious ailments, the clinic 
often serves as a focus of spread of infectious and contagious disease. A child 
taken to a clinic with a minor ailment may readily return home with the be- 
ginnings of scarlet fever or measles. 

Even thoughtful laymen can appreciate this potential menace to public 
health. The Grand Jury of the Bronx, on the 28th day of November, 1937* 
handed up to Supreme Court Justice Tierney a presentment charging that 
the clinics of the Bronx were a focus of spread of contagious diseases. 

Tragic delay in diagnosis and treatment of ailments often result from 
clinic organization. An instance is cited in records published by the New 
York City Health Department in 1928, in a survey of deaths due to diph- 
theria that were observed in the contagious disease hospitals of the city. The 
case reads as follows: 

Diagnosis was not made on a child suffering from very early stages 
of diphtheria in the clinic of a hospital. When the child was returned 
on the following clinic day, two days later, advanced toxic diphtheria 
was obvious. The child died shortly after admission to the hospital. 

A physician in his private practice would have continuously and repeatedly 
observed the child. Clinic organization made this impossible and was respon- 
sible for the death. 

The barrier offered to follow-up of patients by clinic organization, the 
resultant irresponsibility of care, and its menace to health and life are freely 
acknowledged by even the staunchest advocates of the clinic system. The 
United Hospital Fund of New York stated in its 1927 report that the care 
given the public in clinics is not thorough. This is a mild statement of the 
situation, as will be discerned from the following case: 

A. G., a man about 24 years of age; occupation, bricklayer; earnings 
ten dollars per day plus overtime. Admitted to clinic with infection 
of a finger. After the finger was dressed, the surgeon hesitantly told 
him to return on the following clinic day. The surgeon hesitated because 
he faced a dilemma. He realized that though the infection was slight, 
there was a possibility that it might spread rapidly. Though under the 
rules of hospital admission there was no justification for immediate ad- 
mission, the hand should be watched twice a day. The surgeon would 
have been glad to refer the patient to his office for observation without 
charge; but by the rules of the clinic he was barred from so doing. 

When the patient returned to the clinic on the second day following, 
he presented an angry infection of the hand and forearm which neces- 
sitated immediate amputation of the hand. This amputation might have 
been avoided if the victim had had adequate attention during the first 
two days of illness. 


160 



This case is one of many which may be found daily in the clinics of any 
large city. It constitutes criminal neglect and gross malpractice; but under 
the law of most states both doctor and clinic are immune from prosecution. 
The tragedy to the individual and his family is an outcome of neglect forced 
by the very nature of the clinic and of its rules and regulations. Such cases 
impress forcibly the fact that the most valuable item which the patient may 
require and secure from his physician is his personal care and the solicitude 
which accompanies the sense of individual responsibility. This is barred by 
clinic and institutionalized practice of medicine. 

Nothing is more false than the idea that clinics offer a physician experience 
superior to that of private practice. The reverse is the truth. Clinics 
generally breed in their physicians habits of haste, inaccuracy and negligence. 
For the clinic doctor is a cog in the machine of medical “mass production.” 
He is not paid for his services, is denied any voice in the management of the 
clinic, and must submit to the indignity of punching a time clock. His clinic 
hours are determined by those of the paid porter. 

The clinic doctor, like the hospital attending, is the counterpart of the 
laborer on an assembly line. He is required to specialize and treat only a 
single organ or disease. In order to secure his appointment, he must be a 
man who is trained in the specialty. Since most clinics are woefully under- 
equipped, he must furnish needed equipment at his own expense and risk. 

Clinics generally require of their physicians that they see, and make at 
least a pretense of examining and treating all the “customers” before the 
clinic closes. Closing hours are determined by the hours of the paid per* 
sonnel. Hurried and careless work is generally forced upon the physician. 
Often the pressure of work taxes the endurance and mental poise of the 
physician, which is so requisite for careful, thoughtful work. The very 
nature of clinic organization forces neglect and deception of the patient. 
Under these circumstances, the physician learns little more than careless, 
hurried methods of work which become fixed habits. It is idle to expect 
anything but negligence and malpractice of the clinic physician. 

“CLOSED” HOSPITAL SACRIFICES 

The most significant element in the cost of “closed” hosiptals to the public 
is the sacrifice of human life. Though medical advances have improved the 
calibre of medical care and increased the expectancy of life, often patients 
fail to derive benefit from them in many “closed” hospitals. This results 
from the very faults that are inherent in the “closed” hospital systems. 

The medical boss is expected to lure or drag his patients into his hospital, 
especially if they are wealthy or if the case involves much publicity. Not infre- 
quently this is done at the expense of the patient’s life. A notorious case of 
this character was that of a wealthy Long Island polo player who was thrown 
from his horse and suffered from a fracture skull and intra-cranial hemorrhage. 
He was taken to a local hospital. If he had been a poor man he would have 
been left there to rest and would have had an excellent chance to make an 
uneventful recovery. Instead a prominent professor of brain surgery from a 
nearby Medical Center was called in. He hastened to rush off his prize to his 


161 



Medical Center. As might be expected, the jouncing sixty-five mile ride to the 
Center was too much for the patient. He died, a victim of the “superior’* 
medical care which his wealth and prominence inflicted on him. 

Authorities agree that in some types of cases hospitalization means an 
added risk of life to the patient. This is especially true in obstetrical cases, 
in which the risk of acquiring puerperal infections is intensified in hospitals. 

Few “closed” hospitals have medical staffs large enough to care adequatelv 
for all of their patients, because of the desire of dominating cliques to lestrict 
and monopolize the use of their facilities. Rather than dilute their monopoly 
by permitting competent outsiders to care for the patients in the hospital, the 
staffs turn them over to untrained, inexperienced and often unsupervised 
interns. The opinion of these selfsame hospitals of the competence of the 
interns whom they entrust with the lives of patients is made clear by the 
fact that after they have graduated, they are denied for many years the 
privilege of performing in the hospital the operations which they performed 
as interns, on the ground of inexperience. 

To the public, the “closed 1 * hospital cliques pretend that their object in 
excluding the outside physician is the protection of health and life of the 
patient. The falseness of this claim is obvious. When no members of the 
staff are available, the patients of the “closed” hospitals are forced to accept 
the services of inexperienced interns even for dangerous operations rather 
than permit the outside physician, no matter how experienced he may be, to 
render competent services. 

The lives of others have less value to in er chant s-in-medicine than their 
business monopolies . 

This endangering of life for commercial advantage is an almost universal 
custom in the “closed” hospitals of the country. A prominent surgeon, Dr. 
A. J. Rongy F.A.C.S., has stated that over 50 % of the cases on his service 
were operated by interns with or without adequate supervision. He stated 
that the inexpertness of the operations and the prolongation of the anesthesias 
spelled a grave risk to the health and life of the patients. This surgeon’s 
accusation was amply confirmed in Commissioner Higgins* Kings County 
Hospital report which already has been mentioned. 

The toll of death and disability due to the inexperience of the intern 
often is accentuated by the tremendous volume of work forced on the per- 
sonnel. In many larger hospitals interns are compelled to work from twelve 
to eighteen hours a day ; and in case of emergency they may be compelled to 
work a day, or more, without sleep. Nurses arc also compelled to work 
sometimes for comparable periods. Fatigue of hospital workers contributes 
to the toll of human lives in hospitals. 

DEATHS IN THE AMBULANCE SERVICE 

Malpractice and error of diagnosis occur with especially high frequency 
in connection with ambulance services. Rarely do these cases attract any 
attention except when they form the basis of social service propaganda. They 
are so common-place that the newspapers do not favor them as news. In 
the early years of the depression, the social service forces conducted a publicity 

U2 



drive for the support of the ambulance services of the voluntary hospitals in 
New Y ork City. As a result, some cases of negligence of ambulance surgeons 
were published in the press; they became "news” solely because of the activ- 
ities of the social service publicity men. 

On December 8, 1931, the New York Journal reported that Clark 
Starbuck was treated at a hospital for a supposed laceration of the scalp 
and discharged. One hour later he collapsed and died at the Mt Sinai 
Hospital from what was later discovered to be a fracture of the skull. 

On January 1, 1 932, the New York Times reported that John 
Mul queen died in the East 126th Street Police Station, shortly after he 
had been refused as a patient by the Harlem Hospital ambulance surgeon. 

On January 18, 1932, the New York Times reported that Robert 
Francis was discharged from the Fordham Hospital, with a diagnosis of 
mere lacerations after being struck down by a truck. Promptly after 
returning to his home, a summoned private physician diagnosed fractures 
of the skull, arm and leg. 

The individuals described as the “ambulance surgeons” in these cases were, 
as usual, young, inexperienced and unpaid interns working under high pressure, 
for long hours, risking life and limb in the service. The failure of correct 
diagnosis was not their fault, but the fault of a system which forces inexper- 
ienced youngsters to do w 7 ork which would often tax the skill of a veteran 
physician. Nevertheless, in all the publicized cases the young interns W 7 ere 
made the scapegoats of the system and their records and reputations damaged. 

ft was not until September 1933 that interns at Bellevue Hospital sum- 
moned up sufficient courage to rebel against being made the scapegoats of the 
ambulance system. They protested against the suspension and reprimand of 
two of their number for fatal errors in diagnosis on ambulance calls. 

One of the cases was Edward J. Sullivan, whose condition was diagnosed 
by the intern as “alcoholic gastritis.” At death intestinal obstruction was 
found. 

The other case, Norman Frankel, involved two interns who, on three 
successive ambulance calls over a period of twenty- four hours, persisted in 
diagnosing what proved to be a ruptured appendix as a mere stomach ache. 

One can well understand the resentment of the interns on being made 
the scapegoat of the publicity attending these cases. In every large hospital 
■with its mass production system, such cases are commonplace even at the 
hands of experienced staff physicians. 

DEATH IN THE HOSPITAL 

The attitude of the hospital authorities to the death-toll from negligence 
is one of supreme indifference, if it involves no publicity. They receive no 
publicity and are accepted as a part of the daily routine. 

I recall an experience which illustrates this attitude. While in my third 
year at medical school, I was asked by a friend, a young intern at Bellevue 
Hospital, to substitute for him during his leave of absence. Though my 
knowledge of medicine was as scant as that of any third year medical student, 
I was entrusted with the care of a large ward of surgical patients. 



One night I was called, after a long and hard day, to quiet a noisy, 
obstreperous and delirious drunk who had been admitted with a fracture of 
the thigh* I ordered the nurse to administer a fairly large dose of paral- 
dehyde. 

About two hours later, I was again awakened and told that the patient 
was once again disturbing the ward. I ordered another dose of paraldehyde. 

About five o’clock in the morning, I was summoned to the bedside of the 
patient who was comatose and in collapse. The cumulative effect of the 
alcohol and the unwisely large doses of paraldehyde had been too much 
for him. 

I promptly administered oxygen and artificial respiration and continued 
it over a period of four hours. At the end of that time, the patient was 
resuscitated and I was exhausted. 

When I went down to breakfast, I was chagrined to find myself twitted 
and derided by superiors for having concerned myself about the possible 
death of an old drunkard. A death more or less in that mass of ailing 
humanity meant little provided it did not show in the operative mortality 
score. 

Loss of life or impairment of health resulting from the high pressure of 
hospital and clinic work, accident, carelessness and negligence is quite com- 
monplace in institutional medicine; the hospital code of secrecy hides them 
and rarely do they emerge into public notice. The attitude of hospital 
authorities toward deaths of this type is a pose of severity in the few chance 
cases which receive publicity. They stage a tremendous indignation which 
vents itself on intern, nurse or other subordinate, who is made the scapegoat; 
and a career is damaged or ruined. It is interesting to recall a few of the 
cases which have been given widespread publicity in the press of the nation 
because they served the purposes of the dominant cliques in medicine and 
social service. 

NEW YORK HOSPITADCORNELL MEDICAL CENTER 

DEATHS 

Three infants were put to death at the New York Hospital-Cornell Med- 
ical Center, in December 1932, by the injection of boric acid into their veins. 
An overworked nurse had injected the acid instead of salt solution ordered 
by the doctor. 

Dr. Eleanor Conover, director of the Hospital Information and Service 
Bureau, a social service publicity bureau whose function it is to propagandize 
hospitals and clinics, told the press that accidents and errors are rare in 
hospitals. She said : 

“The nurse who has made a serious mistake is no more granted an- 
other chance than the captain who has lost his ship. The patient who 
submits to treatment in any reputable New York hospital has the assur- 
ance that none of the nurses who will attend her have been found guilty 
of negligence to date.” 

More truthfully, Dr. Charles Norris, then chief medical examiner for 
New York City, informed the public 





“Something like this happens every two or three years.” 

He referred to the matter coming to public attention; not to the rate of 
incidence of such accidents. Anyone can realize that persons who are over* 
worked and tired are certain to make errors. There is an inevitable toll o' 
mass production and fatigue in hospitals and clinics, 

SOME OTHER HOSPITAL DEATHS 

Four infants were asphyxiated by steam in the nursery of the Perth 
Amboy General Hospital, on October 23, 1939. According to the statement of 
the hospital, a steam valve with worn threads had been affixed to a radiator 
in the nursery with adhesive tape. Immianity of hospitals and clinics from 
liability for negligence contributes to the frequency of such incidents. 

Some of the truth with regard to the conditions in “closed’ 1 hospitals 
began to leak out after the hospital personnel were afforded protection in 
tenure of position, in 1936, by organization into labor unions in the municipal 
hospitals of New York City. Thus Miss Marion Martin appeared for the 
hospital nurses before the Board of Estimate in October of that year. She 
revealed that in Harlem Hospital, during the month prior, nineteen babies 
died of infantile diarrhea while one nurse cared for fifty of them. 

Occasionally, sensational cases leak into the press. Such a case was re- 
ported from Elizabeth ton, Tennessee, several years ago. Two surgeons who 
were intoxicated and in no condition to operate undertook to remove the 
appendix of a youth. After fumbling about, they closed up the abdomen, 
leaving the patient to die as a result of their malpractice. At autopsy, the 
coroner removed a perfectly normal appendix. 

Though the above-cited case is extreme, operations by surgeons who are 
not in fit condition are almost regular occurrences under our present system 
of medical and hospital organization. The chief of service in the “closed” 
hospital is absolute monarch in his domain, and no subordinate who values 
his job or reputation dares question the sobriety or state of competence of the 
“Chief.” 

MASS PRODUCTION IN HOSPITALS MEANS DEATHS 

Overwork of staff physicians and surgeons who seek to care for all the 
cases that their hospital monopoly brings them also accounts for much mal- 
practice. For they are not robots. They have, like other human beings, their 
“below par” days. Seldom does it happen, however, that a surgeon refuses 
to operate, or turns his work over to a colleague, because he does not feel fit 
This would be regarded as evidence of inefficiency in a Medical Center or 
“health factory.” There have been surgeons who have jeopardized their own 
lives, and collapsed and died in the midst of an operation, rather than yield 
to another. Whipped on by the “mass production” machinery of the hospital, 
surgeons attempt to work on schedule as operative robots. 

The organization of medical service for mass production — whether it 
be by the state or by social service agencies, whether in clinics, hospitals or 
medical centers — is inevitably signalized by a heightened disregard for the 
value of human life. In the mass production of objects, spoilage of a certain 


165 



percentage of production is taken for granted. Accuracy is sacrificed to speed, 
Tiie imperfect or damaged product is cast aside. But in the “mass production 
of health,” spoilage means maiming or death of humans. “Mass production 
of health” readily translates itself into “mass production of disability and 
death.” 

The ultimate victims of the hospital rackets are the public, who pay the 
bill doubly in the * "closed” hospitals. They often are compelled to surrender 
their rights as men and as citizens, and to permit themselves to be robbed and 
maimed, in order to enjoy the facilities of the very institutions which they 
support. 


DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONS VS. HOSPITAL 
IRRESPONSIBILITY 

Regard for human life should dictate painstaking and careful personal 
care of the ill. But the social service clique and merchants-in- medicine 
equally pooh-pooh the personal element in medicine. One can understand 
their attitude when one regards it in the light of self preservation. An organ- 
ization of the medical profession for careful and reasonably priced medical 
care provides no fat incomes for parasitic social service workers; and it also 
provides no immense and supremely lucrative incomes for individual physicians 
and surgeons. 

In the private medical practice of the average physician a respect of 
human values, the health and life of the patient, is compelled by commercial 
considerations if it be not by humanitarian. If the physician be not excessively 
busy and hurried as are some “merchants-in-medicine,” he treats the patient 
as an individual and not as a case; each individual patient assumes for him a 
human as well as financial significance. The law, financial interest and other 
considerations impose on the physician a high sense of personal responsibility. 
The disablement or death of a patient under circumstances 'which raise the 
slightest suspicion, however unjustified that suspicion may be, spells damage 
to reputation, loss of income and legal liability. 

So heavily does this responsibility and its sense weigh upon the rank and file 
physician that there have been cases in which physicians have been impelled 
to commit suicide by the accidental death of a patient arising out of treatment. 
It is in part the anxiety which arises out of this, as well as the moral respon- 
sibility for the patient, that accounts for the high incidence among physicians 
of the dread and deadly heart disease, angina pectoris. 

The clinic and hospital, and often the private practices of medical “lead- 
ers,” are organized for continuous working of the personnel under intense 
drive and pressure for “mass production.” Not even the legal responsibility, 
that weighs down on the average physician in his practice, exists in these 
forms of practice. 

Though the medical “leader” is theoretically as liable under the law as 
any other physician of the rank and file, his responsibility for the patient 
under the law is far less real. For under the interpretation of the law, a 
physician who treats his patient in accord with “accepted practice” is free 
of liability even though that “accepted practice” be a clearly demonstrable 



cause of disability and death. The "medical leader” is the arbiter of “ac- 
cepted practice.” 

Legally, life loses value as soon as the patient passes into the portals of 
the hospital. Under many circum stances, virtual murder may be committed 
entirely within the law and with absolute impunity in the hospital and in 
other forms of institutional medical practice. 

In the "closed” hospital all safeguards that serve to protect the health 
and life of the patient in private practice are wiped out. This is especially 
true in the case of the poor charity patients in the municipal and voluntary 
hospitals; their cases do not even present a commercial interest to the staff 
physicians. 

The "closed” hospital with its "closed” staff, its bond of common interest 
and its stringent discipline, makes possible and enjoins secrecy in regard to 
mistreatment and malpractice. Falsification of hospital records to protect 
the hospital from even a suspicion of such abuses is not an unknown practice. 
The difficulty that interested parties have in gaining access even to the hospital 
records thus "doctored” is well known to any practicing attorney. 

LAW AND THE HOSPITALS 

To cap the climax, the law, in most states, absolves the hospital of any 
legal responsibility for malpractice perpetrated upon its patients. If it has 
exercised "reasonable care” in the selection of its personnel, which means if 
the doctors and nurses on its staff be graduates, no matter what injury may 
be done the patient as a result of defects of hospital management, the hospital 
is exempt from liability. "Charity” patients are also barred in many states 
from any claims against hospitals as a result of hospital and clinic negligence. 
It has become the custom, in those states, for voluntary hospitals and other 
institutions to parade as "charities” though they do little or no charity work, 
by meeting the scant requirements of the welfare or charity law, in order to 
avoid legal liability for negligence. There is an added inducement, in most 
communities, for this act in the provision of tax exemption, and sometimes 
public grants, for hospitals which register as charitable institutions. Even 
in cases in which there does exist legal liability for negligence of the hospital, 
awards are seldom granted the injured, so great is the aura of “charity” about 
the hospital. 

The removal of legal check against negligence of hospitals is a menace 
to the health and life of the public. There is no justification for granting 
to any group in the community exemption from the laws safeguarding human 
life. Particularly should these safeguards be preserved in hospitals and 
clinics, where life so often hangs in the balance, and where even minor 
neglect of the patient can accomplish murder. A draught of air playing 
upon a patient rendered unconscious, by anesthesia or narcotic, may induce 
pneumonia and death. Error or overdosage in medication may accomplish 
murder with little suspicion of foul-play. The possibilities of injury to health 
and loss of life by real or simulated negligence in the hospital are innumerable. 

The law on negligence and malpractice and all other phases of the law 
leave absolutely no justification for the exemption of institutions from negli- 


167 



gence liability. Liability for negligence by the hospital perpetrated through 
its nurses or its other agencies is placed squarely upon the shoulders of the 
physician in charge of the case even though he may be unpaid for his services 
and denied any voice in the appointment of the nursing or other personnel 
of the hospital. 

Patients burned by excessively hot bottles of water applied by the hospital 
nurse have sued their doctors, who were in no wise directly responsible for 
the deed or the resultant injury. The physician, in such cases, found himself 
facing malpractice suit and damage to reputation and livelihood even though 
his own treatment of the patient was faultless and rendered absolutely free 
of charge. 

The extent of the negligence and abuse suffered by patients in "closed” 
hospitals is unbelievable in some cases. A classical instance is that of the 
A. C. S, "approved” Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn. Brutal assaults upon 
helpless patients by orderlies and attendants brought to a head smouldering 
public resentment against the shameful and horrible conditions prevailing in 
the hospital, 

DOCTORS VICTIMS OF "CLOSED" HOSPITALS 

The public, in its resentment at the hospital rackets, has placed the blame 
for them on the medical profession as a whole. In this they have been entirely 
wrong. For the medical profession at large has been as much victimized by 
the dishonest "closed” hospital system as has the public. 

The rank and file of the medical profession has suffered doubly. They 
suffer in the role of patients. For the hospital seldom extends to the doctors 
either grace or mercy in the matter of costs. They also suffer in the role of 
physicians. High hospital costs force the public to accept the "charity” of 
the hospital wards; and physicians generally receive no fees for the work 
done in the wards. The monopoly of the facilities of hospitals results 
in unfair competition by the merchants-in- medicine with the rank and file 
of the profession. 


1*8 



CHAPTER XII. 

“OPEN” HOSPITAL — A REMEDY 


'J 1 he remedy for the "closed” hospital and allied rackets is obvious and 
simple. It consists in the elimination of hospital monopolies and their con- 
version into “open” hospitals. 

The “open” hospital gives the patient complete freedom of choice of 
physician from the ranks of doctors licensed to practice. Competition, made 
possible by freedom of choice of physicians, puts an end to exorbitant fees 
and charges demanded by the merchants- in-medicine and the hospital bosses. 
The patient is no longer forced to content himself with neglect and medical 
treatment of inferior calibre in order to secure the advantages of hospital- 
ization. No longer is he robbed by numerous needless consultations, the 
object of which is often solely the physician’s desire to retain or purchase 
hospital position. No longer are the health and life of the public subject to 
the convenience, whims and caprices of a monopolizing group of merchants- 
in-medicine. 

SENATOR COPELAND ENDORSED “OPEN” HOSPITAL 

The advantages to the patient of the elimination of the racketeering 
"closed” hospital system and its replacement by an honest “open” hospital 
regime were made clear by a letter written, on October i, 1926, by the late 
Dr. Royal S, Copeland, U. S, Senator, Professor of Ophthalmology of the 
University of Michigan and of the Flower Hospital Medical School, and 
former Commissioner of Health of New York City, for publication in the 
Medical Alliance Review. Senator Copeland wrote as follows: 

"I have always believed that the hospitals should be more gen- 
erally used by the medical profession. At many times hospitals have 
closed wards to the detriment of the profession and of the public. 

“♦ . , There should be worked out some method by which a reputable 
physician could take a patient to a nearby hospital, I recall an experi- 
ence of my own. A patient came to me for an operation for a cataract. 
He lived right next door to the hospital. When I asked the privilege 
of operating that patient in that hospital, I was told it was impossible 
because they had a “closed” staff. This poor old man was obliged to 
come way over to Manhattan to a hospital where I operated, in order 
that he might have an operation which could have been done in his very 
door-yard. I hope some way may be worked out by which hospitals 
may be given a greater usefulness, by permitting the profession generally 
to make use of them. 

"Cordially yours, 

“Royal S. Copeland' 


169 



COM. GOLDWATER ENDORSED “OPEN” HOSPITAL 
Senator Copeland drives home by illustration some of the significance to 
the public of the "closed” hospital racket which is expressed in a more abstract 
form by an authority on the hospital problem, Commissioner of Hospitals of 
New York, Dr. S. S. Goldwater, who wrote as follows: 

“The key to nearly everything that makes for efficient medical prac- 
tice today is in the hands of the hospitals. Their duty is plain — they 
must open xuide the door of opportunity , so that the entire medical pro- 
fession may enter in, for the fruits of medical progress belong of right 
to the many, not to the few,” 

“It is to the credit of the open hospital that it brings into touch with 
an organized medical institution many physicians who under a more 
restricted or exclusive hospital system would be deprived of those helpful 
and stimulating medical contacts without which they are in danger 
of deteriorating in medical knowledge and proficiency.” 

The political pressure of the medical and social service rackets led 
Commissioner Goldwater to forget to put his theories into practice in the 
hospitals of New York City. 

COM, HARRIS ENDORSED “OPEN” HOSPITAL 
Former Commissioner of Health of New York City, Dr, Louis I, Harris, 
aptly depicted the significance of the “open” hospital reform to the public, 
as follows: 

“The public is entitled to the highest type of diagnostic skill and 
treatment that are available. 

“Now, if the hospital facilities in any community be monopolized by 
small groups, then an array of doctors must, willy-nilly, carry on their 
bedside practice in thousands of homes without guidance and without 
the benefits of that diagnostic equipment and intellectual knowledge which 
services in the hospitals give. 

“The public have much to complain about in this situation. 

“The public have a very peculiar interest when it is treated by a 
great army of doctors who are denied the opportunity to acquire skill in 
diagnosis and treatment because hospitals are closed to them. 

41 It is necessary , therefore , to have hospital privileges f open to all 
physicians in the community ” 

SEC. BAKER CALLED “CLOSED” HOSPITALS USURPATIONS 
The late Newton D. Baker, Ex -Secretary of War, on the Wilson Cabinet, 
pointed out that hospitals which are tax-exempt and solicit funds from the 
public are the property of the public and that their private management and 
monopoly constitutes a usurpation of public function. He urged that these 
hospitals be operated as publicly owned utilities for the benefit of the public. 

The nieichants-in-medicine, the A. M. A, and the A. C. S., are bitterly 
opposed to the “open” hospital system. It would mean an end to their monopoly 
of hospital business. Without that monopoly they would no longer he able 
to extract from the public extortionate fees. They would also lose the sc- 


170 



lective advertising which the hospitals now give them. Their business would 
suffer severely; and that is one thing that the medical merchants cannot 
stomach. 

As might be expected, all types of false and specious arguments in defense 
of the “closed” hospital and in attack on the “open” hospital have been made 
by medical bosses and organizations. Foremost among these fallacious de- 
fenses is the pretense that the “closed” hospital protects the patient and his 
life. 

PUBLIC INTERESTS DEMAND “OPEN” HOSPITALS 

If the hospital bosses were really sincere in their pretended desire to protect 
the health and life of the public, they would “open” their hospitals to all 
the physicians of the community and their patients. Especially would they 
“open” their hospitals to the physicians whom they pretend are not adequately 
competent. For those physicians are licensed to practice medicine and do 
render services to the ill in their offices and in the patients' homes under dif- 
ficulties, without check or supervision. If they were invited, or induced, to 
bring their patients into the hospitals, their work could be watched and super- 
vised, and the patients protected. 

Another argument advanced against the “open” hospital is the allegation 
that it cannot be efficiently administered. This is belied by the hundreds of 
“open” hospitals in all parts of the country— in large cities and in small 
towns — that are efficiently providing hospitalization for the public. Many 
of the leading hospital administrators, one of whom has been quoted, are among 
the staunchest advocates of the “open” hospital system. 

The conversion of the hospital monopolies of the country to “open” hos- 
pitals is entirely within the power of the public. The public should re- 
possess themselves of their hospital property and convert it to their own use, 
instead of permitting it to be monopolized and used against themselves. 
By increasing the number of effectively available physicians for service to it, 
under the oft superior conditions offered by properly administered and util- 
ized hospitals, the public would assure itself of responsible and competent 
services at reduced costs. 

For protection of the health and lives of the public, the provisions of the 
law which shield hospitals against the consequences of negligence should be 
eliminated. 

These reforms would be as welcome to the rank and file of the medical 
profession as they should be to the public; and they would redound to the 
benefit of all concerned. The hospital would become an institution for the 
rendition of considerate, personal and responsible care to sentient human 
beings instead of a medical and surgical factory. 

Barring aid from the hospital funds or from the government, the mon- 
opolistic “closed” hospital system is on its last legs. It has been dealt a 
knock-out blow by the depression and by the growth and recognition of private 
hospitals and sanitaria. This is the true significance of the petition of the 
Committee of 4^0 which was falsely publicized as a plea for the reduction 
of the cost of medical care, to the public. The petition actually constituted 


171 



a plea to the government by a group of dominant medical merchants to 
prevent injury to their businesses which would result from bankruptcy of their 
“closed” hospital monopolies, by governmental subsidy of the monopolized 
hospitals. 

The signers of the petition were some of the “leaders” of the “closed” 
hospital monopoly. Instead of seeking to reduce the cost of medical care 
to the public, this group of supposed “revolte rs” are merely seeking a per- 
petuation of their hospital monopolies for further exploitation of the public. 

If the public will take full advantage of the financial embarrassment of 
the hospital which gave birth to the plea of the Committee of the 430 bosses 
of medicine, it will force into bankruptcy the “closed” hospital system and 
destroy it. 

There should be no difficulty in the community taking over the voluntary 
hospitals. It has built and supported them by its contributions from both 
private and public purses. By tax exemption alone, the community presents 
these hospitals each twenty to thirty years with a gift equal to their entire 
value. In its 1940 budget, for instance, New York City is providing over 
four million dollars for payment to voluntary hospitals for the care of the 
indigent. Obviously these hospitals are rightly the property of the public and 
can be repossessed from their usurpers with little legal formality. 


172 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE SPECIALIZATION RACKETS 


r Jp herb is a popular definition of the word specialist that with much truth 

aptly describes medical specialization. It reads: 

“The specialist is a person who knows more and more about less and 
less. The perfect specialist therefore is the man who knows everything 
about nothing.” 

For a long time it has been said that medical specialization is the out- 
come of the vastness of medical science. This is false. For medical science, 
in the sense of pertinent facts actually known about man and his diseases, 
is very limited* It can be readily mastered in a relatively short time. The 
limitation of the science of the medical specialties is in some instances almost 
grotesque* 

The specialists in skin diseases specialize in a field that lies on the surface 
of the body. Nevertheless nothing basic or fundamental is known to medical 
science about the skin; and little more is known by the dermatologists about 
its diseases. Nothing is known concerning the true nature and cause of such 
common skin diseases as psoriasis, except that the administration of chrysa- 
robin ointments may sometimes clear up the lesions temporarily. But they 
invariably recur, for no known reason. 

The specialty of dermatology consists principally of hurling names at 
diseases — some of them bad names, but invariably a multitude of names. An 
assembly of dermatologists can get very excited about flinging these names. 
But in many cases they can do little or nothing to relieve the patients 7 ail- 
ments. 

The nose and throat specialists know little more about the cause and 
nature of colds, the commonest ailment in their domain, than does the rest 
of the populace. They may do much to aggravate the condition, or to mu- 
tilate the patient's nose by oft needless operations. But they can no more 
certainly prevent a cold than they can cure it. The cure is left to the great 
specialist — Nature, 

My recent researches on colds dictate the discard of most of the medication, 
manipulations and operations which have been the backbone of the “sinus 
racket.” They reveal that the majority of colds do not begin as infections as 
the “authorities” now allege. They are caused by mechanical obstruction of 
the nose due to faulty breathing and faulty diet. The nasal obstruction and 
the colds can be prevented or cleared up by breathing exercises and a proper 
diet in the great majority of cases. Incidental to the improvement of the 
nasal obstruction, the rings about the eyes that are formed by the varicose 


17 $ 



veins which it causes, also vanish. This discovery enables each man to be his 
own rhinologist and may wipe out much of the specialty of rhinology. 

The specialty of allergy is another instance of high-sounding name serving 
to cover dismal ignorance and to impress the gullible public. AH that is now 
termed allergy used to be classed under the name "hypersensitivity,” This 
commonplace name failed to impress or to yield the high fees that resounding 
"allergy” nets its “specialists.” About the fundamental causes and the true 
nature and treatment of “hypersensitivity,” alias “allergy,” there is still known 
little or nothing. 

Public health work is an instance of specialization that would be absurd 
if there did not lie behind it a deliberate design. Public health work consists 
of applying some simple phases of the science and art of medicine to the 
prevention of disease in large groups, he., “mass production.” Much of it 
is a simple, mechanical routine. But public health officers dominate many 
phases of commerce, such as the distribution of milk. To insure domination 
of public health officials by milk and other industrial interests, public health 
work is being made a full-time specialty controlled by those interests as has 
been related. 

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR SPECIALIZING 

Each and every part of the body is a part of the whole organism arid 
influences the balance of its parts; and, vice versa, every part of the body is 
influenced by the body as a whole. A competent specialist must know all of 
medicine; he must therefore not be a specialist at all. Also the more versed 
a man is in the entire meager realm of medical science, the more competent 
he is to serve as specialist. 

In some phases of the art of medicine a justification for a relative degree 
of specialization is to be found in that they require special technical training 
and experience in kindred arts and sciences, or elaborate, costly and bulky 
apparatus. Thus x-ray work requires technical training in physics and pho- 
tography as well as expensive equipment. 

As a rule, there is little or no justification for specialization either in the 
extent of medical science or in the technical demands of the application of its 
art. Most diseases do not confine themselves to specialty zones. Disease of 
the pancreas, for instance, may cause disease of the eye or foot. Disease or 
deformity of the nose may cause the disturbance of sexual functions. The 
man who specializes in diseases of a single region of the body often disregards 
the remote parts of the body which give rise to the disease under treatment 
and is doomed to failure. 

The practice of general medicine with special interest in some region of 
the body, for the purpose of study and research, constitutes a basis for in- 
telligent and justifiable specialization. It is this form of specialization and 
research that is most productive of results. 

Such intelligent specialization is highly unpopular with the rank and file 
of the medical profession, and a form to which official recognition is denied. 
“Accepted” specialization requires that the specialist shall confine his practice 
to one section of the body, such as the eye or the heart; or to one group of 
disorders, such as allergy; or to a single disease, such as diabetes. The 


174 



specialist who transgresses the bounds of his specialty in treating the patient 
referred to him by colleagues finds that the word spreads around rapidly. 
His colleagues no longer refer work to him and his practice dies off. This 
form of specialization finds its root in commercialism and the intense struggle 
of the profession for existence, 

SPECIALIZATION IMPOSED BY CLINICS AND HOSPITALS 

Both organized medicine and the social service rackets have contributed 
largely to the development of the specialty rackets. The commercial exploi- 
tation of medicine by the social service forces in clinics operated for mass 
production lent the earliest impetus to specialization. The mere mechanics 
of the physical handling of the mobs of patients who are lured to the clinics 
with a pretense of rendering medical care requires a division of labor. In the 
clinic the specialist is the medical mechanic of “mass production”; and like a 
mechanic on the assembly line he must confine his activities and interest to 
a single series of motions, procedures and operations. Any other than the 
grossest defects outside of the specialty zone escapes him in the steady grind 
and routine of the clinic “assembly line.” 

A serious defect in “mass production” in medicine is the fact that the 
human organism differs radically from the usual objects of mass production. 
The interrelations of the parts of the human body are infinitely more complex 
than are those of the parts of an automobile. Many of these interrelations 
are not yet known or suspected. As a consequence the “assembly line” spe- 
cialization in medicine leaves a whole mass of mankind and their ailments 
in a No Man's Land, shuffled about between specialists who dawdle with 
the local manifestations of a general disorder which is usually neither dis- 
covered nor suspected. 

The “closed” hospital system also has served to impose specialization upon 
the medical profession for commercial reasons. In order that the doctors 
of the staffs of hospitals may enjoy maximum incomes and collect the maxi- 
mum number of fees from the limited number of patients in their hospitals, 
*ach doctor is required to confine himself to a single subdivision or specialty 
of the patients 1 ailments. Medical specialization has become a covert and 
“approved” form of “fee-splitting” imposed upon the profession by the “closed” 
hospital system. Physicians seeking appointment to hospitals and clinics are 
required to select a specialty to which they will confine their activities. 

The popularity of specialization that was thus foisted upon the profession 
has grown rapidly. For just as the mechanical routine of the assembly line 
in industry is admirably adapted to the average moronic intellect, specialization 
in medicine matches the wits of the modern medical graduates who are hand- 
picked on the basis of ability to pay graft to secure admission and “intelli- 
gence tests.” To the mental level of these medical morons are attuned 
undergraduate, graduate and specialty education. Members of the pro- 
fession who are capable of sufficient independence of thought to realize the 
evils of this specialty system are now regarded as "crack-pots.” 

Specialties in medicine consequently have bred and multiplied rapidly. 
It is regarded extremely unusual and "irregular” for any ailment, however 


175 



minor, to confine itself within the zone of a single specialty, if the patient 
has any money. This proves very fortunate and profitable for the medical 
staff of the hospitals. Without specialization many of them would starve, 

SPECIALTY BOARDS OR TRUSTS 
Specialization has proved a bonanza for the merchants- in-medicine. Under 
the guise of protecting the public they have established numerous specialty 
organizations that serve the functions of chambers of commerce which boost 
their businesses and protect them from competition in much the same manner 
as does the American College of Surgeons. These organizations generally 
accept the domination of the A, M. A. and interlock with its specialty 
sections. The multiplication of organizations increases the advertising and 
publicity of their bosses to both the public and the rank and file of the pro- 
fession and correspondingly enlarges their practices and their teaching busi- 
nesses. 

For restriction of competition in the specialties and for enhancement of 
incomes from Specialty teaching, the organizations in each specialty combine 
to form Boards. These Boards are self-appointed groups of specialists, gen- 
erally in the post-graduate teaching business, who undertake to dictate who 
may practice the specialty and how it must be practiced. They constitute 
the backbones of Specialty Trusts. The members of the Boards make large 
incomes from the high fees paid by applicants for examination as well as 
from their allied teaching rackets which the applicants find wise to attend 
if they wish to pass. 

The dominant cliques in the specialties are placed on the accredited list 
by the Boards, and in return accept its jurisdiction for the purpose of pro- 
tecting their businesses. All others must submit to examinations consisting 
of trick questions often on subjects that have not the slightest practical bear- 
ing on ability to relieve the ill. The answers must comply with the f ‘accepted 
practice” fixed by the Boards ; or in questions on which no such dogma exists, 
they must match the pet theories of the arbitrary examiners. Since there is 
no appeal from the judgment of the Boards, the applicant must waste much 
time and pay into the pockets of the examiners or their schools much money 
taking courses in which the examiners sell their views to prospective ex- 
aminees. They travel about the country peddling “review conferences” at 
fifty or a hundred dollars a head. 

Validity is given to the actions of the Boards by the imposition on “closed” 
hospitals of the rule that only specialists “accepted” by them may be ap- 
pointed to staff positions. They are now seeking the passage of bills in 
various states that will give their Specialty Trusts the support of law, for 
more effective mulcting of the profession. 

Thus when medical business began to slump in 1930, the medical spe- 
cialty bosses got together and attempted to pass a bill in New Jersey which 
would establish a monopoly of specialists under their domination. An in- 
tensive publicity campaign, in which Lowell Limpus and the Daily Neios 
of New York played an active part, was undertaken in favor of the bill. 
But the bill so obviously violated public interest that it was defeated. 


176 



Boards have been organized in the specialties of ophthalmology (eye), 
otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), obstetrics, dermatology (skin), psy- 
chiatry, pediatrics (children), radiology (x-ray work), orthopedics (bone), 
urology, general medicine, pathology, surgery, and anesthesia. More are 
constantly being organized. Specialties are being subdivided within them- 
selves, and no doubt will give rise to new Boards. The Boards have joined 
in organizing an Advisory Board which publishes a volume that advertises 
the specialists who have been “accepted” by the Boards. 

As in the case of the American College of Surgeons, the applicants are 
passed upon by a local group of competitors. Insiders who “belong” gain 
acceptance without regard to competence. All others can expect little grace 
or mercy. Many capable physicians who refuse to bow to the autocrats of 
the Board are being libelled systematically by publicity in newspapers, maga- 
zines, and other publications which insinuates that all specialists who have 
not been “accepted” by the boards are incompetent and not to he trusted. 
The Boards are some of the many devices that have been fashioned to force 
the medical profession into line for the profits of the rackets of organized 
medicine. However much I may be opposed to this Board racketeering, in a 
moment of weakness I accepted the dubious honor of certification by one of 
the boards. 

SPECIALTY POST-GRADUATE EDUCATION 

One of the favorite methods of restricting competition in the specialties 
is to make specialty education exorbitant in its cost, and to compel physicians 
who wish to enter the specialties to meet totally unwarranted requirements. 
The Boards and specialty bosses exert their influence to prevent the teaching 
of their specialties in the course of a regular medical education; and they 
carve out for themselves fortunes by operating post-graduate medical schools. 
These serve both as business ventures and as advertisements for their private 
practices. 

The usual post-graduate course can be expected to net its professor nu- 
merous profitable operations and consultations derived directly or indirectly 
from advertisements or from students. The profit of the post-graduate in- 
stitution for its bosses explains why some doctors are willing to pay thou- 
sands of dollars for professorships in those institutions. It is not unusual for 
doctors seeking professorships to invest twenty-five thousand dollars or more 
in these institutions. These were generally very profitable investments that 
in normal times often netted the investors as much as a half a million or a 
million dollars annually, mulcted from the public as well as from colleagues. 

With the object of diminishing competition in the specialties the cost 
of specialty education is being raised higher each year. The graduate In 
medicine who has completed his internship has undergone a process which 
goes by the name of education during a period of twenty to twenty-five 
school years at an estimated cost of twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars. 
To enter some specialty, especially the surgical, he must be prepared to spend 
three years or more in a post-graduate medical school, during which time 
he receives no income but must pay from six to ten thousand dollars addi- 


177 



tfonal. During these years he will have much opportunity to draw pretty 
pictures and make clay models; to fill endless notebooks with lecture notes 
and with speculations and theories; occasionally to see a case of a patient 
suffering from a specialty disease, rarely if ever to operate on one. 

When this process has been completed the graduate turns loose on the 
community and seeks to force it to pay him a return on this enormous and 
needless investment in time and money. Small wonder the public complains 
of the high cost of medical care at the hands of products of the specialty 
racket. 

Things were not always so. In years gone by the specialties were learned, 
as was the balance of medicine, by young graduates who acted as assistants 
to older men in office and clinic, at home and abroad; or by serving an in- 
ternship in a specialty hospital. After a number of years of apprenticeship 
during which the novice had sufficiently proved to the physician whom he 
assisted, that he could be entrusted with all phases of the specialty, he went 
off to some post-graduate institution or took a trip to Europe. This was 
primarily for the purpose of comparing notes and methods, and acquiring 
the glamour and halo of “study abroad.” 

For some the pace was more rapid. Tiring of general medical practice 
the physician decided to devote his interests to one phase of the profession 
which he had been practicing with special interest. Primarily for the 
marking of the transition between the two phases of his practice, general 
and special, and for “a breathing spell,” the physician would go abroad 
and announce himself as a specialist upon his return. 

If this group of self -declared specialists had originally enjoyed an adequate 
medical training and had conscientiously taken interest in their specialties, they 
might have become quite as competent as the balance of the crew. But their 
failure to pay tribute, in the form of thousands of dollars in tuition fees, to the 
bosses of the specialty gangs, and the competition which they offered, aroused 
intense antagonism on the part of vested specialty interests. 

ABSURDITIES OF SPECIALIZATION 

While this process of raising the barriers against acquiring education 
or experience in the specialties has been in progress, advances in medical 
and allied sciences have thrown in sharp perspective the absurdities of 
specialization. 

A striking instance is a specialty of urology. Important aspects of the 
domain of the urologist and important sources of his income were kidney 
stones, enlargement of the prostate, and gonorrhea. 

The usual treatment of kidney stone was operative interference. It has 
been shown recently by research workers in nutrition and general medicine 
that the formation of kidney stones can be prevented by a diet adequate in 
vitamin A and glandular therapy. Thus the kidney stone threatens to 
be thrown back into the domain of general medical practice. 

The traditional treatment of enlargement of the prostate has been local 
manipulation and operation. Recent contributions to medicine have shown 
that enlargement of the prostate can be prevented or cleared up by treatment 


178 



with endocrine glands, such as ovarian hormone, the hormone inhibin, or 
testosterone. Another domain of urology is being thrust back into general 
medicine. 

The treatment of gonorrhea and its complications has been one of th* 
chief sources of income of the urologist. If gonorrhea had no complications 
most urologists would starve. Recent success reported in the treatment of 
gonorrhea with sulfanilamide threatens to remove the treatment of this 
disease from the repertoire of urology to that of the general practitioner. 
This tragedy consummates the undoing of most urologists and their specialty. 

A prominent urologist bitterly complained that the specialty is being 
wiped out by modern discovery in other fields of medicine. He seriously 
suggested that there should be a halt to medical discovery to avoid technologic 
unemployment in the specialties. 

MEDICAL DISCOVERY VS. SPECIALTY RACKETS 

The suppression of medical discovery in the interest of sustaining the 
indomes of racketeering specialists in medicine is exactly what is being 
accomplished by many of the specialty organizations. Original research 
motivated by the desire to dispel the abysmal ignorance of fundamentals 
that characterizes all the specialties is regarded by their overlords solely 
in a commercial light. They can be regarded as putting to themselves the 
question: “Will it further my business?” Suppression of discoveries that 

do not serve to enhance their businesses and their incomes, especially if they 
do not emanate from their cliques or cannot be stolen by them, is the 
universal practice. And so vast is their autocratic power that none of the 
rank and file dares to disobey their dictates and use methods which they 
do not sanction. 

It has been related elsewhere how bitterly the highly successful medical 
treatment of chronic ear infections and chronic disease of the mastoid is 
being fought by the specialists in otology to protect their operative income. 

It has been related how the unscrupulous bosses of ophthalmology have 
resorted to suppression of publication, libel, slander, falsification of data, 
and to the imposing of censorship on such a representative scientific organ- 
ization as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in order 
to prevent the highly successful adrenal cortex medical treatment of glaucoma 
from becoming universally known and accepted. It matters not to the 
high-minded specialists that the treatment is the only method of preventing 
blindness in thousands of victims of the disease. The one thing that counts 
with them is that if the method should be accepted, the bosses of the 
ophthalmologic specialty would lose their high fees and incomes from blinding 
glaucoma operations. Such is the defect in the nature of the law, that a 
callous group of specialty bosses can force the profession to continue to 
blind, deliberately, knowingly and with impunity, thousands of victims each 
year with their operations; and can withhold from them the medical therapy 
which would save their eyesight by the mere device of’ refusing to acknowl- 
edge the truth — that the medical therapy is effective but would reduce 
their incomes. 


17 $ 



Medtcal specialization has become a gigantic commercial racket, jointly 
maintained by specialty organizations, by the American College of Surgery, 
by the American Medical Association, by the Medical-Social-Service Trust, 
and by the educational institutions controlled by them. They serve enormously 
and needlessly to increase the cost of medical care ; to block effective education 
of the medical profession for complete and rounded service to their patients; 
to prevent the public from enjoying the benefit of medical discoveries when 
those discoveries serve to reduce specialty incomes, especially by eliminating 
need for operations; briefly, to plot against public interest for their own 
private gain. 

SPECIALTY PUBLICITY 

The immense poivers of the overlords of the specialties are greatly 
enhanced by the delegation to them by organized medicine and social service 
of the powers of control and censorship of both the medical and lay press 
in their fields. They use these powers to boost their business, to undermine 
their competitors and rivals, and to gloriously shield their nefarious activities 
with the shibboleth “protection of health and lives of the public.” Scarcely 
a week passes by without the issuance to the press for publication releases 
drawn up by highly paid publicity men announcing that their competitors 
are in competent and require post-graduate instruction of the type that the 
gang has to offer. 

In all of this publicity, each specialty group insists that the rank and 
file of the medical profession is incompetent to practice in its particular 
field. When one adds up the sum total of all the fields claimed by the 
specialties one begins to have serious doubts about the calibre of modern 
medical education. For one finds that there is nothing that they are willing 
to entrust to the unspecialized medical practitioner except the work of acting 
as business agent for the specialists. 

The specialty business slumped heavily in 1930. The New' York Academy 
of Medicine clique in its annual report adopted that year suggested that 
its simon-pure specialists alone should enjoy the medical business of New 
York. The report implied that none other could be trusted. It did not 
state that business was poor, which is what the report really meant. 

On January 29, 1938, the New York Post-Graduate Medical School 
and Hospital announced in the press that medical specialists needed more 
training of the variety that the institution had to offer. The motive can 
be found in the fact that it has found business so lean in recent years that it 
was compelled to surrender its control to Columbia University in order to 
gain support. The newspapers’ publicity gave the Post-Graduate many 
thousands of dollars of free advertising and undoubtedly boosted its 
business. 

At the dinner from which this publicity was released Dr. Walter D. 
Dannreuther, F.A.C.S., professor at the Post-Graduate and member of the 
Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, announced that more of the superior 
brand of specialists approved by his Board were required. The superiority 
of the recommended specialists and the success of the Board in raising 
specialty standards is made clear hy a report made by its members a short 


ISO 



time before this incident that indicated a steady rise of maternal mortality 
in the United States to the h.ghest childbirth deathrate in the world * The 
mothers of the Nation probably feel that if there were many more of them, 
ever ready to grab a knife and to do a Caesarian section, their chances of 
survival would be reduced to nil. 


Representatives of other specialty boards also held forth on the topic 
of the need for more education at the Post-Graduate Medical School of 
their various brands of specialists. With such intensive publicity and 
advertising, business should have improved at the Post-Graduate Medical 
School, 


HYPOCRISY OF THE SPECIALISTS 

If these specialist groups were really interested in protecting the health 
and lives of the public they would seek to make common knowledge to every 
member of the medical profession the specialties which they now seek to exploit 
as private monopolies. Instead of multiplying the costs and reducing the 
opportunities for the members of the medical profession to become versed in 
all the specialties, they would seek to make the knowledge freely available to 
them at no cost 

Instead of shouting from the housetops that the medical profession, 
especially their competitors, are incompetent they would invite them into 
their schools and “closed” hospitals and teach them free of charge in the 
interest of improving the care of the ill. That is the purpose for which 
philanthropically inclined individuals have endowed the hospitals and medical 
schools. 

They would speed up dissemination of information on medical advances 
and discoveries in their fields and seek free distribution of that information 
and its publication in the press, instead of suppressing it. 

To be sure the specialty bosses do invite the medical profession to lectures, 
to “Fortnightly Reviews,” and to specialty conventions which are primarily 
designed to advertise themselves. But the data presented at those meetings 
are generally of ancient vintage and are to be found in any older textbook; 
and are so old as to be generally accepted in the specialty, and known to be 
not wholly true. 

“ACCEPTED PRACTICE” — SPECIALTY DOGMAS 

“Standardization” and establishment of “accepted authority” and “ac- 
cepted practice” constitute the prime functions of the Boards, The “accepted 
practices” are often legalized methods of committing mayhem and man- 
slaughter. The absurdity of such “standardization” and authoritarianism 
in a field such as medicine, in which so little is definitely known, and so 
much of what has been regarded as true in the past has proved to be 
absolutely false, is too obvious to require comment. 

The tendency toward authoritarianism in medicine and surgery, and the 
specialties, has become intensified in the last seven years of government 
authoritarianism. This movement increasingly threatens modern medicine with 

* This figure was .deliberately falsi fled , for it included all deaths from abortions in 
the childbirth figures. 


181 



stasis and stagnation similar to that which it suffered in the Middle Ages. 
It violates the interest of each and every person, and a halt should be called. 

As a phase of “standardization” of medical practice designed to serve 
the dual purpose of control of announcement of medical discovery to protect 
their reputations and vested interests, and of advertising themselves, the 
specialty bosses have established 4 'Research Committees/’ These committees 
assign to each of their members the investigation of a designated subject 
and the establishment of the “accepted” faith and dogma for that domain. 
Once this “faith” has been established it may not be questioned with im- 
punity; it must be accepted, however erroneous, until the committee decides 
to take cognizance of its error. 

Historically autocracy and dogmatism in medicine have always retarded 
its advance and victimized the public. The ascendancy of Hippocrates and 
Galen, Jenner and his vaccination against smallpox, Semmelweis and his 
proof of the cause of puerperal fever and its prevention, Pasteur and his 
proof of the origin of disease, are classical instances of the sacrifice of millions 
of lives that authoritarianism, bred of commercialism in medicine, has cost 
mankind. 

Today authoritarianism and commercialism in medicine have become in- 
tensified a thousandfold in the name of the "protection of public health.” 
The specialty rackets lead this development. 

LURE OF SPECIALIZATION 

It is not difficult to understand what lures the younger generation of 
physicians into medical specialties. They are forced into specialization by 
their hospitals and clinics. Specialists have opportunties to earn more than 
a mere living. 

If a specialist sticks to his last, and either “splits” fees or repays his 
colleagues in other manners, he can even hope to make a fortune. Some 
of the extremes to which “fee-splitting” has gone in the specialty racket are 
illustrated by the case of the New York otolaryngologist who has adopted 
the practice of visiting general practitioners, looking over their furniture 
and announcing that he is ready to supply a needed item, as advance payment 
for cases to be referred to him at a future date. It is the keenness of com- 
petition which is primarily responsible for the denunciation of “fee-splitting.” 

SPECIALIZATION, THE LAW, AND THE PUBLIC 

The public itself is largely responsible for the growth of the specialization 
rackets. It has been malcducated in the belief that the specialist is the last 
cry in medical care, and is alone to be trusted. The public has acquired 
the habit of going directly to the specialist or demanding of a general 
practitioner that he refer them to the specialist. 

Laws on specialization have been passed in some states. Such laws have 
reached the highest stage of absurdity and racketeering in the New York 
State Workmen's Compensation Act, which makes a special specialty of 
compensable injuries sustained by workers. Thus the injuries of a man 
who is struck by a car while at work belong to a different specialty than 
identical injuries sustained while not at work. 


IB2 



Instead of supporting such racketeering by law the state should seek 
to eliminate it entirely. It should seek to raise the calibre of medical 
education; should compel free access to hospitals of all physicians; should 
maintain free opportunities for post-graduate medical education ; should 
provide the medical profession with literature and should arrange prompt 
publication of latest advances in the science of medicine; and should rigidly 
enforce laws which provide for proper punishment of malpractice and stimu- 
late the provision of the most beneficial and least injurious methods of 
treatment known. 


til 



CHAPTER XIV* 

THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE 


A MERGER OF ORGANIZED MEDICINE AND SOCIAL SERVICE 

^bout the time that the sponsors of the New York Tuberculosis and 
Health Association began organizing the Social Service Trust, they also took 
hold of the New York Academy of Medicine. They made it the spearhead 
of their drive to “muscle in” on the very profitable rackets of Organized 
Medicine and to gain control over the profession. 

The Academy had existed for many decades as a sleepy, musty club for 
the more affluent physicians and medical merchants of New York. In essence 
it was a rich man’s club, operated by the financial highlights and political 
bosses of medicine. For its members it maintained a library to which non- 
members might gain admittance. Meetings were held which gave members 
an opportunity to advertise and display themselves to the profession. 

CHARITABLE FUNDS SOLICITED 

Preliminary to conversion of the Academy to their uses, the Rockefeller 
Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, allies of Organized Social Service, 
offered it a grant for a new building on condition that it would raise part of 
the funds by public subscription. For the purpose of an appeal to the public 
for donations, bequests and contributions, the Academy posed as a charitable 
and educational institution devoted to the protection of the health and life of 
the public. The ruse succeeded and the public contributed liberally to the 
erection of an imposing edifice. 

Dr. Linsly R. Williams, son-in-law of Kidder of the Morgan affiliated 
Kidder, Peabody & Co , was made Director of the Academy. Dr. Williams 
frankly acknowledged his incompetence as a physician, his inability to make 
a success of the practise of medicine and his hatred of the medical practi- 
tioners engendered by his sense of inferiority. As a compensatory device, he 
devoted his life to a campaign against private medical practise, as the medical 
boss of Organized Social Service, undertook to dictate how the practise of 
medicine should be conducted, and became “King’s advocate” of Socialized 
Medicine and of commercial and political domination of the medical pro- 
fession. 

As soon as its marble halls were completed, the New York Academy of 
Medicine abruptly ceased to be a “charitable” institution. Once again it 
became a less exclusive but more expensive club. Physicians and others who 
are acceptable to the membership, usually by virtue of personal friendship or 
frequent consultation, may belong, so long as they pay the fifty dollars annual 
dues and obey the rules. 

184 



CENSORSHIP, PUBLICITY, BOOSTING 

At the heart o f the alliance of the bosses of social service and medical 
bosses is the Academy’s Medical Information Bureau. It was established by 
the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association on the pretense of supply- 
ing the press with "reliable medical information" through its executive secre- 
tary, Dr. Iago Galdston erstwhile Isidore Goldstein, whose salary is said to 
have been paid originally by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The 
Association's president, Dr. Linsly Williams, the medical boss of Organized 
Social Service and interlocking Director of the Academy, saddled it on the 
Academy and on the New York County and State Medical Societies. It 
engages now, in a censorship of medical news that extends throughout the 
country 

Attractive bait was offered the medical bosses by the social service clique 
in this deal. It offered to continue to pay the salary of Dr. Iago Galdston 
when the Academy took over the Bureau, out of the Christmas Seal pennies. 
Subsequently one of the allies of Organized Social Service, the Milbank 
Fund, liberally endowed the Bureau, i.e. the wages of its officers, with some of 
its Borden Company milk funds, which was no doubt earned well by the 
censorship activities. The press censorship of the Medical Information Bureau 
has given the Social Service Racket a monopoly of publicity on important 
medical aspects of milk and on medical economics, which has virtually barred 
the press to Organized Medicine and to the members of the medical profes- 
sion on these topics. This has been an important factor in facilitating its Bis- 
marxian propaganda, especially in the field of Socialized Medicine and Com- 
pulsory Health Insurance. The releases of the Medical Information Bureau 
have played a significant role in undermining public confidence in the medical 
profession and vilifying it. 

At the same time the Bureau has undertaken to act as a high-powered 
agency for publicity and advertising of the medical bosses of the Academy 
and their henchmen, the value of which is intensified by the censorship which 
makes their press releases exclusive. In this manner the medical clique have 
monopolized the right to advertise and boost their reputations and practises. 

FORTNIGHTLY REVIEWS— MEDICAL REVIVALS 

The "Fortnightly Review" that is held each year by the Academy plays 
an important part in the business-boosting. Though it is professed that these 
Reviews are intended for the education of the medical profession they are 
advertised and publicized to the lay public and the names of the bosses of the 
Academy featured and headlined. They virtually state : 

“Behold, we are learned men, the ‘authorities 1, who are educating the 
profession. For superior medical services come to us." 

Until the Review of 1939, when a five dollar registration fee was imposed, 
the bulk of the attendance of these meetings consisted of laymen attracted by 
the advertising. They came to hear the oracles of medicine hold forth in a 
fashion that would lure to their offices lay listeners as patients. 

Few informed members of the medical profession attend the sessions, be- 
cause they well know that very seldom will anything new be heard. Always 


185 



the same ‘ ‘authorities 1 9 recite from the same textbooks. This annual 
advertising stunt is supplemented by weekly radio broadcasts by various mem- 
bers of the clique. Occasionally an authentic medical scientist and authority 
presents a subject that is new before the “Fortnightly Review.” But thanks 
to the censorship of the press maintained in the name of the Academy, it is 
only the drivel of its overlords that has been released by the Bureau and pub- 
licized in the press. 

BUSINESS AGENCY AND “STEERING” 

But these forms of advertisement do not exhaust the repertoire of tile 
publicity and business agency of the Academy. The Medical Information 
Bureau invites the public through the press to seek its advice about physicians 
and to accept its recommendations. The Bureau steers the inquiring public 
into the offices of the bosses of the Academy. This custom is very profitable 
and brings them much high-priced business. Occasionally a case is thrown 
“to the dogs,” i e. the rank and file members of the Academy. 

In this activity the Bureau is guided by ethical standards lower than those 
of East Side merchants and their “steerers.” Cases are not referred to the 
members unless they pay their dues and remain in “good standing.” Since 
the payment of dues is the prime requisite of membership and enjoyment of 
the organization’s benefits, all members of the New York Academy of Medi- 
cine who have cases steered into their offices by it are guilty of “fee-splitting.” 

RIVALS AND ENEMIES SLANDERED 

The bosses of the New York Academy of Medicine, and their social 
service allies, use the Bureau to ruin the practices and reputations of their 
competitors and enemies. The rank and file of the medical profession are 
consistently discredited to the press and to the inquiring public by inuendo or 
slander over the telephone. It is not unusual for the Bureau to do this even 
to members of the Academy. On one occasion that has come to my attention 
the spokesman of the Academy informed the press that one of its own mem- 
bers was a quack and was not to be trusted. 

This slander is hard to scotch or prosecute because it is usually done over 
the telephone. It would be difficult to prosecute successfully because there 
are no reliable witnesses possible in a phone conversation. The Bureau and 
its officers generally refuse to reduce their statements condemning a physician 
to writing, no doubt on advice of counsel. Drs. Iago Galdston and Samuel 
J. Kopetzky have been the guiding spirits of the Bureau. 

MEDICAL MISINFORMATION 

In matters of medical publication, news reports are censored on the same 
basis. The most trite nonsense of the officers of the Academy passes censor- 
ship and is headlined in the press. The most important discoveries of out- 
siders or of enemies of the Academy are discredited without regard to truth, 
and are censored by the Bureau. 

Such newspapers as the New York Times abide rigidly by the censorship 
of the Academy. All the editors of New York city newspapers and magazines 
are fearful of the pressure which the Academy clique can bring to bear 


1S6 



against them. The MacFadden publications alone are free of its full censor- 
ship and dare publish medical truths that Organized Medicine desires to sup- 
press. The pressure of the Federal Trade Commission supports the medical 
censorship and forces rebellious media into line. 

Since Galdston has been employed at a salary of five thousand dollars a 
year as syndicated medical columnist and censor by the Associated Press, the 
other news syndicates and many newspapers have rightfully become distrust- 
ful of the Bureau’s neutrality. But fear of reprisals by the Academy and 
its allies has kept most lay editors in line. 

BUREAU HAS CONSISTENTLY LIBELLED MEDICAL 
PROFESSION 

The chief result of the press censorship of medical news by the G aids ton- 
Kopetzky Bureau and its social service bosses has been to discredit the medical 
profession in the eyes of the public through the agency of what the public 
regards as the profession’s own organizations. Periodically the social service 
forces issue for publication false and misleading data highly injurious to the 
rank and file physicians and to the good name of the profession. This per- 
sistent libel is no doubt a puzzle to the public who do not realize the perfidious 
control of the Medical Information Bureau by Organized Social Service. 

This libel of the profession continues witTi impunity because the members 
at large of the Academy of Medicine have absolutely no voice in its adminis- 
tration, They are merely puppets who pay fifty dollars a year for being un- 
dermined, discredited, and libelled like the rest of the profession. They also 
enjoy the privilege of attending meetings at which they must not be too free 
in speaking up or expressing themselves; the boon of borrowing books from 
the library; the dubious pleasure of basking in the reflected glory of the oft 
spunous renown of the bosses of the Academy; and an occasional boost to 
their businesses by cases referred to them by the Medical Information Bureau. 

ACADEMY TAKES IN BOARDERS 
In one respect the “aristocratic” Academy has become quite plebeian. It 
has entered the real estate business in competition with less fortunate land- 
lords of New York City and lias taken in boarders. It “philanthropically” 
rents meeting rooms, built with funds donated by the public, to medical 
societies of its own selection and approval, at the rate of twenty five dollars 
to one hundred and fifty dollars per evening. 

This did not stop the New York Academy of Medicine from claiming 
and receiving exemption from taxes on the amusing grounds of being a “chari- 
table” institution. Exemption from real estate taxes was granted by the 
Board of Assessors of New York City after there had been blocked, at my 
instance, a bill introduced in the New York State Legislature to exempt the 
Academy from payment of taxes. 

INFANTILE PARALYSIS SERUM RACKET 
As an example of the charity and philanthropy which the New York 
Academy of Medicine bestows on the public, the Infantile Paralysis Serum 
Racket is outstanding. In connection with the epidemic of infantile paralysis 


187 



which occurred in New York City in 1931, the New York Academy of 
Medicine announced to the public a quack “cure” for the disease consisting 
of human blood serum. It obtained the serum at little or no cost and sold it 
to the public at twenty-five dollars or more a dose. In this activity it had 
the support of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was a close friend of 
Dr, Lfnsly R. Williams, the Director and Chairman of the Poliomyelitis 
Committee of the Academy. Georgia Warm Springs, also, was the source of 
some of the serum which was sold by the Academy, according to published 
reports. 

At this point it suffices to mention that more deaths resulted from the use 
of the serum than from the disease itself, and rather than take the matter 
to court, the parties involved settled a suit for the death of Marvin Zanger, 
a victim of the serum, out of court, even though there was considerable question 
whether the technicalities of the law did not exempt them from liability in the 
matter. 


LIBRARY RACKET AND MEDICAL EDUCATION 

Most questionable of the pretenses of the New York Academy of Medi- 
cine, made to secure tax exemption from the City of New York, is that it is 
an educational institution and makes available to the profession medical 
literature by operating a public library. A small fraction of the Academy’s 
marble halls is used for library purposes. But this is a private library for 
members of the Academy which is open to the public and to the balance of the 
medical profession for reference purposes only, during a limited number 
of hours per day. The hours were originally from nine to twelve a. m. For 
the purpose of making its plea more plausible to the Board of Assessors of 
the City of New York the hours were extended to five p.m. The rank and 
hie of the medical profession may only consult the library of the Academy 
during hours that conflict with their office and working hours; and they may 
not borrow books as may the members. 

Access to publications of medical advances is as important for the educa- 
tion of physicians as is free and uncensored publication. With the price of 
medical publications high, and mounting ever higher in spite of the depres- 
sion, the cost of keeping abreast of medical advance today is beyond the means 
of a large part of the profession. Libraries that give the medical profession 
free access to medical literature are essential to the public for the protection 
of health and life. 

The Academy does extend the privilege of borrowing books from its 
library to non-member physicians — for the modest sum of forty dollars a 
year. This is far beyond the means of the average physician. To all intents 
and purposes, the medical and social service bosses of the Academy bar the 
rank and file of the medical profession from effective access to medical liter- 
ature. 

The Academy is aided in converting its library into a lucrative monopoly 
by the public library system of New York City and by the Carnegie Corpora- 
tion, and by the Rockefeller Foundation and its General Education Board, by 
the support which they give it. I discovered this, much to my chagrin, in 1931 



when I pleaded with the New York Public Library and with the Carnegie 
Corporation to make available to the medical profession a free circulating 
library. Mr. Anderson of the New York Public Library replied that his 
organization would not enter into competition with the library business of 
the New York Academy of Medicine, Mr. Frederick Keppel of the Carnegie 
Corporation replied that he would take up the matter with his associates. 
Nothing came of my efforts. 

A curious light is thrown on Organized Medicine’s attitude toward its 
rank and hie and toward public interests, by my attempt to induce the New 
York County Medical Society to take action to obtain a free circulating 
medical library for the profession of the City. The resolution was barred 
from introduction as new business by the chairman at a meeting of the 
Society; and the omnipotent Comitia Minora of the Society, all of whom were 
members of the Academy of Medicine, refused to take any action in the 
matter. 

The need for such a library is still urgent, and would require but a small 
fraction of the large sums of money being wasted and frittered away on use- 
less and stupid pretenses of public health work. Money should be promptly 
provided for this purpose. 

ACADEMY RESUMES “CHARITABLE" POSE AND 
PANHANDLING 

On the eighth of January 1940 Dr. Malcolm Goodridge, President of the 
New York Academy of Medicine, made a plea to the public for contributions 
to its support as a charitable and benevolent public institution. He drew a 
heart-rending picture of the Academy trying to scrape along on a mere 
$220,000 a year income. He did not make it clear how much of this money 
represented the salaries of social service parasites, propagandists and business 
steerers who clutter the Academj\ 

Dr. Goodridge announced a plan to cut down the limited access of the 
rank and file of the medical profession and of the public to the medical library. 
He confessed that there might be raised the question “that the Academy is 
not properly an educational institution.” He revealed that on the basis of 
such misrepresentations the Academy had been exempted from income, social 
security, state unemployment insurance and real estate taxes. This is in line 
with the custom of Organized Social Service to specifically exempt itself 
from all the burdensome taxes and regulations which it helps impose on the 
nation. 

The doctor also revealed that the Federal government had suspected the 
misrepresentations of the Academy and had raised the question of its tax- 
exemption but had continued the exemption because of the “educational” char- 
acter of its business-steering agency, the Medical Information Bureau. With 
equal justice the government could exempt from taxes all advertising agencies 
or the New York Stock Exchange or the Union League Club, 

How the “educational” Medical Information Bureau acts to suppress the 
truth and to protect the business interests of the Academy is illustrated by 
the fact that letters relating the truth about the activities of the Academy 


189 



correcting the statements of Dr. Good ridge, which were forwarded to the 
New York Times, Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Post, Journal and 
American, Daily Nezus and Mirror, were censored and suppressed. Such 
suppression of the truth is an odd concept of “education ” The Federal gov- 
ernment could render the public a great service by taxing the malodorous and 
anti-social activities of the Academy out of existence. 

THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE IS A MONUMENT TO THE MALIGN 
PURPOSE AND BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST OF TIIE MEDICAL-SOClAL-SERVtCE 
TRUST, 


190 



CHAPTER XV. 

WHAT PRICE LIFE? 

PUBLIC vs. THE RACKETS 

r J 1 he medical and social service rackets cost the public enormously in terms 
of money, health and life. In money, the cost is many billions of dollars each 
year. The public of New York City alone expended on its hospitals, for 
example, forty-five million dollars in 1927, and sixty-four million dollars in 
1930. The cost of hospitals and allied medical rackets amounts, in the coun- 
try, to not less than one billion dollars per year. Contributions to philanthropy 
and to social service “charities” such as the New York Tuberculosis and 
Health Association amounted to an additional two billion dollars in 1933* 
The wages of the forty thousand workers, which the Welfare Council esti- 
mated were engaged in social service work in New York City alone in 1928, 
amounted to over seventy-five million dollars. It is considerably higher now. 

The milk racket, with its artifically maintained high price of milk, costs 
the country tens of millions of dollars each year. Workmens 1 Compensation 
Insurance abuses cost the public many hundred million dollars each year. The 
industrial insurance racket costs the nation almost one billion dollars per year. 
The cost of abuses of unemployment relief amounts to fantastic figures. Drug 
monopolies and rackets levy a toll of hundreds of millions each year. 

It is the cost of these rackets in terms of human lives that is most signifi- 
cant. Vis-a-vis the interests of Organized Social Service and Organized Medi- 
cine human life literally has no value, The taking of lives by these activities 
ceases to be murder ; it becomes “an unavoidable necessity of social progress,” 
and legalized by custom. As in the case of war, the more wholesale the scale 
on which lives are taken as a result of these rackets, the safer and more respect- 
able the process becomes. 

CONTRASTING LEGAL VALUES OF LIFE 

In this respect our democracy contrasts sharply with the autocracy of the 
Fascist states, in which individual lives count for naught whereas mass mur- 
ders are subject to legal prosecution. Several striking cases of mass murders 
of an accidental nature, arising out of medical activities, have been reported 
from abroad within the past decade. These illustrate the contrast. 

From the provinces of Venice and Rovigo in Italy there came reports of 
the deaths of ten children and the illness of many more, resulting from their 
injection with a defective vaccine. The vaccine had been marketed by the 
National Institute of Serum Therapy, at Naples. Though the incident was 
due to accident and carelessness, the directors of the Institute which prepared 
the vaccine, Camillo Terni and Mario Testa, were placed under arrest. 


191 



In Germany, Professor George Deycke and Dr. Ernst Alstadt were con- 
victed for their responsibility in accidentally causing tuberculosis in two hun- 
dred and forty children, of whom seventy-six died. The casualties resulted 
from an error in preparation or administration of a vaccine intended to prevent 
tuberculosis. 

MENACE OF LOWERING VALUE OF LIFE FOR ANY GROUP 

In both cases, the deaths were accidental in the course of administering 
treatment of proved value. Though one may deplore the severity of the punish- 
ment visited on these eminent physicians, one cannot help feeling that it is 
correct that the State do its utmost to prevent injury to life and health of its 
citizenry. Even accidents should be carefully investigated and those responsible 
admonished. This helps to prevent recurrence of such incidents and to prevent 
deliberate jeopardy of human lives by dangerous and futile experimentation. 

Under our law in the United States, however, even mass deaths due to 
unwarranted and indefensible human experimentation under the auspices of 
Organized Medicine or of the agencies of Organized Social Service is not 
treated as a crime. Many lives have been needlessly sacrificed in this manner 
within the past decade. Freedom from prosecution of the individuals and 
groups responsible for these murders is becoming well established by dangerous 
precedents. If the country fails to act promptly to upset these precedents, all 
safeguards against the taking of human lives by these groups will vanish. 

INFANTILE PARALYSIS SERUM EXPERIMENT 

One of the most flagrant instances of this nature was the death of scores 
of humans resulting from the administration of the so-called "immune serum' , 
in the treatment of the cases suspected of having infantile paralysis during the 
epidemic of 1931. This was a case of deliberate risk and sacrifice of human 
life by experimentation, engaged in by a Committee of the New York Academy 
of Medicine which was headed by the late Dr. Linsly R, Williams, whose 
position interlocking Organized Medicine and Social Service has been re- 
counted. Dr. Williams also was mentioned as the prospective incumbent of the 
post of Secretary of Health which it was reported was to be created for him 
on the Cabinet of President Roosevelt, after he had written an article, pub- 
lished in Collier s magazine, certifying that Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt 
was physically and mentally fit for the Presidency of the United States. 

POLITICAL AND MEDICAL SETTING 

The sale of the fake cure and the attendant publicity was designed to build 
up Dr. Linsly Williams as a national figure and to publicize the Medical- 
Social-Service Trust which he dominated as a prelude to his expected poli- 
tical advancement and as a prelude to turning over the control of medicine, 
under national legislation, to the Trust. The infantile paralysis epidemic was 
used also as a pretext for raising the price of milk to the poor of New York 
City in the midst of the depression to a higher figure than prevailed in times 
of prosperity, by the elimination of loose milk. The Milbank Memorial Fund 
and the Rockefeller Institute played dominant roles in both campaigns. 


19Z 



In this exploit, the Medical-Sod al-Service Trust, under Dr. Williams, was 
up to one of its old tricks — stealing the stale thunder of medical experimenters 
as a pretext for a wild burst of quackish publicity. The “immune serum” 
was known to be worthless and dangerous long before the human experiment 
was started. Within two weeks before the date when it was advertised and 
publicized as a “cure” for infantile paralysis the National Health Institute of 
the United States Health Public Service reported on a series of cautious experi- 
ments and studies made with it on monkeys over a period of three years. The 
Institute reported that the serum was both worthless and dangerous when 
used in many of the manners suggested. 

The serum goes back to the days of the French investigator, Levaditi, who 
discovered in 1911 that the virus contained in nasal drippings of victims of the 
disease, which would cause infantile paralysis when injected into the nervous 
system of monkejrs, could be neutralized and made harmless by the blood of 
adults or of persons who had had infantile paralysis, when the two were mixed 
in a test tube. In the New York City epidemic of 1916, Dr. Herman Schwartz 
had tried out such a serum on a group of his patients. He reported that he 
had found it not only worthless but actually injurious and deadly when used 
in certain manners. 

SERUM KNOWN TO BE WORTHLESS AND DANGEROUS 

The best informed authorities on the subject including Dr. Josephine Neal 
and Dr. William Parks of the New York City Health Department Re- 
search Laboratories, both of whom were members of the Committee constitut- 
ing a minority, had unequivocally condemned the serum on the basis of accu- 
mulated data. They pronounced it to be of questionable value and actually in- 
jurious when used in certain manners. As early as 1929, Dr. Josephine Neal 
had pointed out in her publications the danger of the use of the serum in 
poliomyelitis, and had condemned it in no uncertain terms. All the cumula- 
tive evidence pointed to the fact that this supposed “cure” exploited by the 
Academy was both worthless and injurious. 

Dr. Williams, himself, characterized the use of this serum at a hearing, 
of the Board of Censors of the New York County Medical Society of March 
ii, 1932, as a “clinical study,” or experiment on humans, undertaken by the 
Committee to prove or disprove the value, or lack of value of the serum. Dr. 
Williams stated at the hearing, 

“This study was made, really, upon the recommendation of Dr. Simon 
Flexner and Dr. George Draper. Dr. Flexner and Dr, Draper were 
particularly interested and also was Dr. A moss and Dr, Ay cock. dr. 
NEAL DID A GREAT DEAL OF WORK ON THIS SUBJECT SOME EICHT OR NINE 
YEARS AGO IN TIIE 191S EPIDEMIC, AND F THINK SHE HAS ALWAYS HAD 
THE FEELING THAT THIS SERUM WAS OF VERY DOUBTFUL VALUE.” 

In other words. Dr. Williams placed the responsibility for this disastrous 
experiment squarely on the Rockefeller Institute, of which he was a director, 
and on its staff. 


193 



At a discussion before the Society of Medical Jurisprudence on October 
12 , 1931, Dr. Josephine Neal said; 

“I have always opposed the use of serum intraspinally on account of 
the consequent meningeal irritation that so often follows . * . sometimes 
with disastrous results " 

FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS COVER TRAIL 

Dr. Sobel, an eminent pediatrician, confirmed Dr. Neal’s statement 
in the following words: 

"If the truth were told about the use of the serum intraspinally I am 
afraid that some sad stories would come out. I have some good reason to 
believe that several deaths have occurred as a result of its use in this way, 
and while names such as status thymolymphaticus have been used for the 
cause of death, it has been more directly attributable to meningeal irrita- 
tion than anything else.” 

THE CONCURRING STATEMENTS OF DR, NEAL AND SOBEL MAKE IT CLEAR 
THAT IT IS WIDELY KNOWN IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION THAT IT IS A COM- 
MON EXPEDIENT OF THE MEDICAL-SOCIAL-SERVJCE TRUST IN ITS EXPLOITATION 
OF PUBLIC HEALTH TO FALSIFY RECORDS TO MAKE THEM SHOW RESULTS DE- 
SIRED BY THEM. IN THIS MANNER THEY OFTEN HIDE FROM THE PUBLIC THE 
SACRIFICE OF HUMAN LIFE THAT RESULTS FROM THEIR ACTIVITIES. 

ACADEMY SOLD DANGEROUS QUACK “CURE” TO PUBLIC 

In spite of its worthlessness and its known danger, the Committee on 
Poliomyelitis of the New York Academy of Medicine undertook to experiment 
on humans with this “cure” in manners that were known to be most dangerous, 
including injection into the spine. It solicited the serum from former victims 
of the disease among the public, most of whom contributed their blood free of 
charge. Governor Roosevelt contributed 500 c.c. of scrum. I11 the role of an 
“authority” on the subject, he wrongly informed the public that doctors who 
would not use the “cure” were ignorant and not to be trusted. This statement 
proved as true and reliable as have many of his other statements on the sub- 
ject of health, medicine and other topics. 

The Academy then sold this serum to the public through its agents, young 
and inexperienced physicians, for as much as the traffic would bear, usually 
twenty-five dollars a dose. In violation of the municipal law of New York 
City, even charity patients in municipal hospitals were compelled to pay a 
minimum price of twenty-five dollars for this supposed cure; and were led 
to believe that failure to use it meant death or worse. 

“CURE” WAS MORE DEADLY THAN THE DISEASE 

The outcome of this experiment was exactly what might have been expected 
on the basis of accumulated data, highly disastrous. The published report of 
the Committee stated that the serum had been used only in cases which had 
developed no paralysis. This means that many of those cases did not have 
infantile paralysis to begin with; for there is no positive method of diagnosis 
of the disease until paralysis develops. The death rate, however, among the 


194 



group treated with the serum was considerably higher than among the proved 
victims of infantile paralysis. The incidence of paralysis among the former 
was also higher than among those not treated with the "cure*” 

SACRIFICES TO THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT 

The case of Marvin Zanger illustrates the danger of the serum. The story 
is best told in a letter which his mother wrote me. 

November 28, 1931. 

Dr. E. M. Josephson 
Dear Sir: 

Read your statement in the papers of a week ago pertaining to the 
serum which was used during the epidemic. May I state my case, please. 

On August 19, my boy, nine and a half years old, became ill, . . . 
We took him to the Morrisania Hospital at 168th Street and Walton 
Avenue, The Bronx. While admitting my child who was so, so very ill, 
I was told that it was necessary to use serum and it would cost twenty-five 
dollars. Fm an American woman, and had been reading the paper, but 
had never noticed a fee for serum mentioned. I spoke of this to one of the 
doctors and he informed me there was a charge for it at all times. Of 
course, being a mother and so frightened, I borrowed the twenty-five 
dollars to pay for it. I sat with my dear child for three hours before 
Dr [an agent of the New York Academy of Medicine] came 

My child died anyway. I have not been able to write you before 
this, as my heart is broken. But in order to help others who may not be 
able to borrow as I did, and to help you who are brave and big enough to 
come forward [I write], 

Mrs. Diana Zanger 
1025 Gerard Avenue 

The circumstances and the records of the case left little room for doubt that 
the death was directly due to the irritation of the serum and its mode of ad- 
ministration. 

Another equally tragic case was related by another mother who wrote to 
Mrs. Zanger: 

"Several weeks ago, I read in the New York American about your 
suit against the New York Academy of Medicine for the loss of your 
child from infantile paralysis. 

"Your sufferings find an echo in my heart, for I am also an unfortu- 
nate mother who lost a four-ycar-old son. I have a daughter aged twenty, 
in the hospital, who is a sufferer from the same dreadful scourge. 

"My boy was running around well in the hospital until the serum 
was administered. He died within five days. 

"My daughter was paralyzed following the serum. She is in the 
hospital for the past seven months. God, if I could only lose my memory 
completely 1” 

The suit brought by Mrs. Zanger for the death of her child was settled 
by the parties out of court. 


195 



CHARGES AGAINST ACADEMY STOPS SALE OF SERUM 

To stop the sale of this quack cure, I filed charges with Governor F. D. 
Roosevelt against the Academy and its Committee, accusing them of sacrificing 
human lives in what they chose to call an “experiment.” The Academy 
pleaded “charity” in defense and extenuation of its acts but stopped the sale 
of the serum. The fate of these charges reveals in its full extent the sincerity 
of Roosevelt's “humanitarian ism.” 

My indictment of Dr. Williams, and of the Academy Committee and their 
serum was very embarrassing to Governor Roosevelt for many reasons. First, 
Dr, Williams was a personal friend and an important political ally. Second, 
his Georgia Warm Springs enterprise had been widely publicized as supplying 
some of the serum used for the “cure,” Third, Roosevelt and his campaign 
managers had used the serum as the basis of large number of “human interest” 
press releases, and his campaign had played up his “humanitarianism” thus 
manifested. 

For obvious political reasons, the Governor failed to act on the charges 
himself. He passed the buck to New York State Commissioner of Health, 
Thomas Parran, now Surgeon General of U. S. Public Health Service. Dr. 
Parran owed his appointment as Commissioner to Dr. Linsly R. Williams, 
and had himself actively advocated the use of this infantile paralysis “cure.” 

DR, PARRAN PLEADS GUILTY 

As might have been expected. Dr. Parran refused to hold hearings on the 
charges. Several months after they had been filed with him, Parran brushed 
aside my charges in a letter released to the press, in which he stated that he 
himself was involved in the charges, consequently they could not be true. Dr, 
Parran's denial of the truth of the charges followed closely upon the tacit 
acknowledgment of the Committee in its own report that my charges were 
absolutely true. 

Commissioner Parian recommended, furthermore, that my zeal in protect* 
ing the health of the public and in preventing human sacrifice should be 
rebuked. He recommended that I be censured for my efforts. 

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT DEFENDED EXPOSED “CURE” 

I protested in vain to Governor Roosevelt against this formerly un-Ameri* 
can procedure of permitting a man accused of a crime, and confessedly guilty, 
to be his own judge. The Governor replied affirming, in substance, the value 
of the “cure,” directly contradicting the report already rendered by the Com- 
mittee. 

Not content with the white- washing given them by their confederate, Drs. 
Linsly Williams and Iago Galdston took seriously the recommendation that 
I be censured. They filed charges against me with the New York County 
Medical Society from which I had already resigned because of indignation at 
its failure to lend support to my life-saving efforts. Dr. Williams' charges 
against me were based on the charges that I had made against him and his 
Committee, which Dr, Parran conveniently had dismissed on the very day that 
Dr. Williams was served with a summons in the suit brought against him and 


196 




State or new York 
Executive Chamber 

ALBANY 

r«AN«CLm D.ROOftKtfflT 

oovtAi** February 15 , 1932 


Dr*. J5. M, Josepbaon, 
995 Park Avenue, 

New York City. 

My dear Dr. Joaephson: 


I have read very carefully the 
latest charges which you have submitted 
to me under date of January 30 „ 1932* I 
have also read the several previous communi- 
cations you addressed to me and to the State 
Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas parrah, Jr. 

I have been fully informed con- 
cerning the activities of the State Depart- 
ment of Health in its splendid efforts to 
minimize the effects of the poliomyelitis 
epidemic and to limit the spread of this 
disease, for which I requested a special 
appropriation from the Legislature anl re- 
ceived their approval. 

The charges you make are not 
substantiated by faots, and are therefore 
dismissed. 


Very ainoerely youre. 



This letter was received in reply to my protest against State Commissioner of Health 
Dr. Thomas Parnm’s dismissal of my charges branding the infantile paralysis “curative" 
scrum a worthless and dangerous quack remedy, the use of which resulted in many deaths* 
Thts letter constituted in substance an animation of the value of the serum. It is dated 
months later than the report of the Poliomyelitis Committee which fully supported my 
charges- Dr, Parran has risen to greater heights of authority and power since this incident, 
on appointment by President Roosevelt. The use of the serum has been abandoned- 


197 



the Academy of Medicine for damages for the death inflicted upon Marvin 
Zanger by the serum. 

“ETHICS” REVEALED AS GANGSTER CODE PROHIBITING 

SQUEALING 

Dr. Galdston's charges, however, clearly set forth the anti-social purposes 
to which the medical- social -service mob put the code of pseudo-ethics which 
they have established for the medical profession. Dr. Galdston stated that in 
making the charges designed to protect the public I was guilty of “improper 
publicity.” 

Dr. Galdston’s charges meant that the code of “ethics” to which he and 
his clique pay ] ip-homage is designed merely to protect the Medical -Social- 
Service Trust in its violation of public interest. The charges which I had 
made were criminal charges. The law interprets as manslaughter, destruction 
of life by acts which deliberately risk jeopardy of human life. The law also 
states that it is the duty of all persons cognizant of crime and suspected crime 
to promptly communicate that knowledge to proper authorities. Failure to do 
so means to become an accomplice after the fact. Therefore, the charges of 
Dr. Williams and Dr. Galdston mean that they and their clique interpret 
medical “ethics” as requiring of the members of the organization dominated by 
them to'become accomplices in crimes against society. 

It is quite characteristic of racketeering gangs to demand of their members 
secrecy in matters of crimes committed against the public, and to require that 
they do not “squeal.” The charges hied against me signified that my efforts to 
save human life was regarded by the organization as “squealing.” 

MY CHARGES AGAINST ACADEMY COMMITTEE WERE 

SUSTAINED 

In spite of the fact that I had resigned from the New York County Medi- 
cal Society, I gladly agreed to reply to Drs. Williams 1 and Galdston’s charges 
before that body. I demanded, however, that the hearings be fair and honest 
and not the usual star chamber proceedings, that they be open to the press, that 
the testimony be recorded and transcribed and a copy given to me, that I be 
permitted to present all my many witnesses, and that the charges which I 
proved should be reversed against my accusers. 

The hearings had barely begun and only a few of my witnesses had testi- 
fied, when my accuser Dr. Williams began to beat a hasty retreat and sought 
my permission to withdraw the charges. It was agreed that I had already 
proved some of my charges. I initially refused to agree to withdrawal of 
charges against me because I wished to completely rout my accusers and to 
force the Society to take action against its own bosses. It was pleaded with 
me, however, that Dr. Linsly R. Williams was seriously ill and dying of 
cancer. I, therefore, permitted withdrawal of the charges. 

I now realize the folly of relenting. The social service and medical 
gangs later mocked my kindness which they misrepresented as weakness, and 
repaid the consideration requested for their boss and extended to him, with 
slander. 


19S 



“PRESIDENT’S BIRTHDAY BALLS” FINANCED DEADLY 

experiments 

The trail of deaths arising from human experiments with infantile paralysis 
did not terminate with the tragedies of the “curative” serum. On the con- 
trary, the protection offered to human experimenters by government authori- 
ties and the powers of State Medicine, constituted, by the Health Depart- 
ments and their Commissioners, seconded by the great influence of the in- 
terested social service rackets, encouraged further human experimentation. 

Financed in part by a small grant from the moneys collected through the 
“President’s Birthday Balls,” Dr. John A* Kolmer of Temple University, 
Philadelphia, undertook to infect a group of children with infantile paralysis 
virus that was supposedly attenuated by treatment with sodium ricinoleate, a 
soap made from castor oil. On October 8, 1935, Dr. T. M. Rivers of the 
Rockefeller Institute, reported the results at a meeting of the American 
Public Health Association. Dr. Rivers’ announcement read as follows: 

"Only tight out of twelve thousand children who were injected (with 
the infective material) developed the disease.” 

In defense of this situation, Dr. Rivers offered the allegation ; 

“In the case of the eight children, it is probable that they had incurred 
the malady before they had been injected.” 

IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE, NAY PROBABLE, THAT THE INFECTIONS AND DEATHS 
WERE CAUSED BY THE INJECTED VIRUS. 

These deaths still further illustrate the menace of authoritarian, irrespon- 
sible State Medicine to the health and life of the public. They should be a 
warning to repudiate the various Compulsory Health Insurance schemes which 
the self-same group as were responsible for these killings are now seeking to 
foist upon the public. 

RESEARCH COMMITTEE TESTS NEO-SALVARSAN TOXICITY 
ON HUMAN GUINEA PIGS 

With the growth of the power of Organized Social Service and the trend 
toward Socialized Medicine the regard for human life is rapidly dropping in 
this county. In connection with the cm rent anti-syphilitic campaign, two 
such instances have come to light. The infliction of blindness on numerous 
victims by the poisonous drug tryparsamide, that has been licensed for use by 
the Rockefeller Institute, lias been related. Many cases in which blindness 
has been inflicted with this drug have been reported in the medical literature. 

From the Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York City there has been reported 
by Drs. Louis Chargin, Harold T. Hyman and William Leifer an experiment 
with arsenical s on human guinea pigs the purpose of which was to determine 
how much could be injected into the blood before dangerous poisoning 
occurred, and to determine whether syphilis can be cured thereby. Their re- 
port appeared in the September 29, 1939, issue of the Journal of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association, with a laudatory preface by Dr. John L. Rice, Com- 
missioner of Health of New York City. 

The experiment was financed by grants from the New York and Markle 
Foundations, and the Friedsam Fund. It was made with the collaboration of 


199 



the Mt. Sinai, New York and Bellevue Hospitals, the United States Public 
Health Service and the New York Department of Health. The work was 
done under the auspices of a research committee appointed by Commissioner 
Rice which represented the various groups involved. Dr. Theodore Rosenthal, 
Director of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, Dr. Louis Chargin and Dr. John L, 
Rice represented the New York City Health Department. Dr. Charles C. 
Lieb, professor of pharmacology, Dr. Walter W. Palmer, professor of medi- 
cine, Dr. Harold T. Hyman, assistant professor of pharmacology of the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, represented the Columbia- Presbyterian Medi- 
cal Center. Dr. Eugene Du Bois and Dr. Bruce Webster represented the 
New York Hospital-Cornel I Medical Center. Drs. Hyman, Chargin and 
Leifer represented the Mt. Sinai Hospital. Dr. Walter Clark, the Director 
of the American Social Hygiene Association, represented that organization. 

The arsenicals used have long been known to be poisonous, especially in 
large doses. In the experiment, the drug was given continuously by intraven- 
ous drip in large doses that are known to be toxic. Virtually all of the patients 
thus treated showed some poisonous effects. 

RESULTS : HYPERPYREXIA, POISONING, DEATH. 
INADEQUATE CONTROLS MAKE SACRIFICES VAIN 

Half the patients developed toxic skin eruptions; over one- third showed 
neuritis that lasted from four to six months; many showed damage to the 
liver; and two developed convulsions suggestive of inflammation of the brain 
with hemorrhage. The death of one patient as an immediate result of the 
treatment is reported by the experimenters. Whether this is the full extent 
of the injury done to these human guinea pigs, the experimenters themselves do 
not know. They report that seven failed to report back after discharge from 
the hospital; and it is conceivable that they might have failed to do so because 
of serious ailment or death. 

The eventual results of the treatment are problematical. The experi- 
menters report that 

“Seventy-six cases are completely sero -negative.” 

What this might mean, no one knows. For repeatedly it has been shown that 
the Wassermann and other serum reactions are not reliable indices of the 
presence of syphilis in the body. Another item which throws considerable 
doubt on any conclusions which might be drawn from these human experi- 
ments is the fact that in a majority of the patients the poisoning resulted in a 
fever that ranged as high as 105 F. and lasted as long as ten days. It is known 
from the experimental work that already has been reported that high body- 
tempera tu res result in the destruction of the spirochetes of syphilis and in a 
true cure in animals. No control was made by the committee on the effect of 
heat alone on a parallel group of patients. It might perfectly well be that the 
beneficial results that they may have obtained were not a response to the Ger- 
man Dye Trust's arsenicals but to the fever arising from the poisoning which 
they caused. If that is the case, there are so many harmless ways of creating 
fever that the risk of arsenic poisoning is utterly unwarranted. 


200 



\VhJIc an attack on this brutal experiment was in the course of publication, 
there was hastily released from Mt. Sinai Hospital on April 13, 1940^ a news- 
paper story announcing the “discovery'' of a “5 day cure” for syphilis by the 
same group. This was timed and worded so much like a Hollywood press 
release that it readily could be taken for publicity matter for the film “The 
Magic Bullet of Dr. Paul Ehrlich,” Curiously enough, a star role was played 
by the ex-wife of a Hollywood picture director and former Ziegfield Follies 
beauty. The story related that the drug neo-sal varsan that had been used in 
the earlier experiments had been abandoned for mapharsan which is a less 
poisonous arsenical. The story published in the New York Times conveyed 
the impression that the treatment with this drug was proved free of poisonous 
effects and safe in an extended study . This hardly seemed possible in view 
of tbe fact that only half a year prior the doctors had made no reference to 
the drug and six months time is utterly inadequate for such a study. The 
New York Herald Tribune reports with greater accuracy: “A statistical 
analysis is not yet possible, due to tbe fact that a year has not elapsed since 
their completion of the treatments.” From what is known of the toxicity of 
mapharsan, it is scarcely conceivable that it has had no toxic effects in these 
cases. The significance of this premature publicity remains to be discovered. 

The sensational publicity on the risky experiment involving poisoning 
by large doses of arsenicals, by this influential group of Eastern physicians and 
their allies of Organized Social Service, the drug industry and the local and 
Federal governments, contrasts sharply with the suppression in the press of any 
mention of the brilliant results obtained by a group of less influential physi- 
cians of the Miami Valley Hospital of Dayton, Ohio. The explanation may 
be that their method of treatment of syphilis requires only a few small doses 
of arsenicals in combination with fever therapy, and is less popular with the 
drug manufacturers and the specialists in syphilis. That it does not involve 
nearly the risk to the health and life of the patient as does the Mt. Sinai 
method, seems to be immaterial to the press and to the authorities involved. 

Summing up the experiment, the committee risked the lives of eighty-six 
human guinea pigs, with one acknowledged death, by injecting them with 
dangerous doses of a drug that is known to be poisonous. No individual 
physician, in the capacity of private practitioner, would dare risk human lives 
in this fashion. But experimental committees sponsored by Organized Medi- 
cine and Social Service, and philanthropy, are freed of liability by the law and 
can safely be less scrupulous regarding human health and life. 

It is notable that among the members of the committee are some staunch 
advocates of Socialized Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance, and 
representatives of State Medicine. These incidents and others like them 
warn the public to ponder seriously before risking their lives by fostering such 
programs. 

It is anomalous that there exist numerous vociferous organizations for the 
prevention of cruelty to animals, but there is no group interested especially in 
preventing the cruelties of human experimentation. Such groups -would 
vigorously oppose the programs of advocates of Compulsory Health Insurance 
and the “mass production” which it implies. 


201 



M ALPR ACT IS E CONSPIRACY MENACES PUBLIC 

The gangster code which masquerades in the form of “ ‘medical ethics” offers 
another indirect menace to the health and life of the community in the form 
of the conspiracy of insurance companies to protect physicians from the con- 
sequences of any malpractfse which they might perpetrate. It is quite true 
that this conspiracy has arisen in defense against the racket of some patients 
who systematically bring unjustified malpractise suits against physicians for the 
sole purpose of avoiding payment for services rendered and of swindling the 
doctor. 

It is equally true that medical societies in collaboration with insurance 
companies are often guilty of “inducing’ 1 their members to perjure themselves 
and to compound felonies, in a conspiracy to protect fellow members against 
legitimate malpractise suits. Physicians also are virtually barred from testifying 
for a patient against a colleague either by the terms of the malpractise insurance 
policy or by pressure and intimidation. It Is generally impossible for a victim 
of malpractise or his attorney to- secure expert medical testimony against a 
member of Organized Medicine. The protection which the law supposedly 
offers the public against malpractise of physicians has become so twisted and 
perverted as to bar recovery for the victims of gross and obvious malpractise. 
This has served to dangerously cheapen human life. 

Exemption from liability for malpractise of hospitals, clinics, and other 
pseudo-charitable or charitable institutions is especially dangerous. For it is 
in those institutions devoted to “mass production” that the greatest number 
of persons can be injured by carelessness, neglect and malpractise; and it is in 
those institutions that the pressure of work and lack of personal responsibility 
of the medical and other personnel are most apt to combine with lack of lia- 
bility to form a highly potent factor in encouraging negligence and malpractise. 

“ACCEPTED MEDICAL PRACTICE” MENACES PUBLIC 

The legal concept of “accepted medical practise” as a justification of treat- 
ment resulting in injury or death, also encourages and protects neglect and 
malpractise. It is fixed by the political leaders or bosses in medicine who, as 
has been made clear, are not so constituted as to resist venal impulses. Since 
surgery is more lucrative to them than the practise of medicine and since the 
public is more willing to be parted from its money by surgery, it is not sur- 
prising that “accepted practise” favors surgery and suppresses successful medi- 
cal therapy, whenever possible, and thereby increases the hazards of the public. 


202 



CHAPTER XVI. 


SAMPLE OF STATE MEDICINE AND SOCIAL 
SECURITY 

THE WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION RACKET 

“for cod’s SAKE, MISS PERKINS, TRY AND HELP ME CGT THE 
MINUTES IN MY CASE. I HAVE LOST EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. 

TIIE SHERIFF IS ABOUT TO FORECLOSE MY HOME. l’M CRIPPLED FOR 
LIFE AND I CAN'T GET A JOB.” 

his pica was addressed to Miss Frances Perkins, then Commissioner of 

Labor of the State of New York and now “New Deal” U. S. Secretary of 
Labor, by William F. B. Coston of Rahway, New Jersey, at a hearing on the 
fifteenth of April 1931 of Governor F. D. Roosevelt’s Committee to Review 
Medical and Hospital Problems in Connection With Workmen’s Compen- 
sation Insurance. Mr. Coston testified as follows: 

He had sustained an injury to his head four years prior while work- 
ing. He was taken to a hospital on Staten Island and treated there four 
days, until the employer’s insurance company notified the hospital that it 
would not pay the bill because it did not regard hospitalization as neces- 
sary for his case. 

With the consent of the Commission but in violation of the law, the 
insurance company hastened to settle fraudulently the claim for an injury 
that it knew to be serious for two and one half weeks’ compensation. 
Two weeks later the injured man developed paralysis as a result of the 
neglect of his condition compelled by the insurance company’s action. 

For four years the claim pended before the various appeal boards of 
the State Industrial Department. Impoverished, he was unable to raise 
sufficient money to secure minutes of the case required by the law to 
enable him to fight the resourceful insurance company sharps. 

MADAME PERKINS REJECTED PLEA BUT INSISTED SHE 
AND LAW WERE PERFECT 

The pathetic plea of paralyzed Mr. Coston fell 011 the deaf ears of 
Frances Perkins, the self-confessed revolutionist, the social service leader, 
the “great humanitarian,” the intimate of Eleanor Roosevelt and the profes- 
sional champion of the abstraction “The Working Classes.” Proletarian 
sympathizers are apt to value workers in mass for their power to perpetuate 
their jobs and for their voting strength. The only individuals who command 
Miss Perkins’ personal sympathy are such masters of votes and “outstanding 
leaders of men” as Harry Bridges and John L. Lewis; and for them she fights 
to the last ditch. She evidently values them more than the lives of thous- 
ands of refugees whom she off- hand edly denies haven in this country at the 
behest of the autocrats of Labor. 


203 



To William Coston’s pitiful plea for help in securing transcript of the 
minutes of his case in order to right a shameful injustice, Madame Perkins 
testily countered with the alibi that she had not enough stenographers in her 
division to help him. She had plenty stenographers to enable her to Rood the 
country with reports of how well her Department was administered; hut she 
had none to serve justice and help a tragic victim of its “perfection” Sensing 
in this plea an attack, la Perkins with true feminine inconsistency indignantly 
asseverated that the New York Workmen’s Compensation Act was "the best 
in existence;” and her administration of it she defended ns perfect. 

It was quite clear that Commissioner Perkins evaluated the New York 
Compensation situation from the social service viewpoint. From that perspec- 
tive it was "the best;” for it paid her the highest salary available in the field. 
It mattered not that in the administration of the law there had been intro- 
duced fraud and abuses on a widespread scale or that all the professed objec- 
tives of the law were frustrated. Despite thousands of cases like Coston s, all 
was perfect from the viewpoint of social service. 

COMPENSATION LAWS WERE THE FIRST PRODUCTS OF 
BISMARCK’S PROPAGANDA 

A measure of what benevolence the public can expect of social service and 
all its “liberal,” radical and commercial allies is revealed in the administration 
of the Workmen’s Compensation Acts. For these insurance acts were the first 
concrete results of the activities of Organized Social Service in the United 
States. This followed its adoption of the "Made in Germany” labor program 
and fl New Deal,” and its alignment with German propagandists of the Inter- 
national Association for Labor Legislation. It became a catspaw of foreign 
agents provocateurs, who were bent upon imposing on American industry the 
same items of cost as handicapped German industry. The formation of the 
American Association for Labor Legislation in 1906 marked its start. 

Among the original founders of the Association were Richard T. Ely, 
Edward T. Devine, Mary K. Simkovitch, R. O. Love joy, Mary van Kleeck 
and John B. Andrews. Later joiners were Frances Perkins, Harry L. Hopkins, 
John A. Kingsbury, Charles C. Burlingham, William Hodson, Ida M. 
Tarbell and Homer Folks. 

In the following decade the social service forces of the country intensified 
their activities on labor legislation. They agitated and engineered the passage 
of Workmen’s Compensation bills throughout the nation. Their agitation was 
crowned with success; forty-six states in the Union have adopted Workmen’s 
Compensation Insurance Acts which are more or less uniform and standardized 
as a result of these "social service” activities. 

PRETENDED OBJECTIVES OF "MODEL” LAWS 
The pretended objectives of the Workmen’s Compensation Acts were 
quite laudable. They included the following: 

Fair, prompt compensation and competent medical care for the injured 
employee. 

Elimination of the expense and delays of litigation. 


204 



Elimination of congestion of court calendars. 

Stimulation of accident prevention* 

Distribution of industry’s cost of workmen’s liability. 

Elimination of the unwarranted burden which had been placed upon 
communities in the care of disabled veterans of industry. 

In the drafting of the bills propagandists who assumed the guise of 
"liberal” professors of economics and "authorities" on workmen’s compensation 
insurance, steeped in the lore of the original German model, helped to give 
the bills introduced the full destructive value to commerce and industry that 
had been anticipated by Bismarck, they were not desicxed to benefit 

EITHER THE WORKERS OR INDUSTRY ; BUT TO INJURE BOTH IN TIIE INTEREST 
OF HANDICAPPING OUR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE* 

This is illustrated by the Workmen’s Compensation Law of the State of 
New York enacted in 1914. Its administration constitutes a model upon 
which the laws of many states, as well as that of the Federal Government, 
have been patterned. Consideration of the consequences of the law, therefore, 
has a wide and valid application. 

JUDGE TULIN ATTACKS THE LAW AND ITS 
ADMINISTRATION 

The defective and unjust character of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 
was made clear in an attack made on the law by a referee of the Workmen’s 
Compensation Division, Justine Wise Tulin, when she was appointed New 
York City Magistrate, in an article that appeared in the February 10, 1935, 
issue of the New York Times. She stated that: 

The insurance companies employed a group of physicians who made a 
monopoly of Compensation practice. 

The insurance companies regarded the control of the selection of 
physicians as a means of controlling medical testimony. 

That the testimony of the physicians with regard to causal relation- 
ship between an accident and subsequent disability was closely correlated 
to the economic interests of those who employed them, and that the 
physicians did not hesitate to render biased testimony on the question of 
causal relationship and extent of disability. 

That the physicians thus employed refused to give adequate medical 
attention and ordered the injured back to work before they had recovered, 
in order to cut down compensation costs. 

That the control of medical care has been used by insurance com- 
panies to limit compensation awards, and not to keep down medical costs. 

That the physicians authorized by the insurance companies to treat 
the injured, and who were willing to aid the companies in defrauding the 
injured, were highly paid by the companies through the device of padded 
bills, and that the fees thus derived were split with corrupt insurance 
adjusters. 

She pointed out also that the New York State Insurance Fund, "although 
a non-profit-making State organization, has considered itself in competition 


205 



with the private companies to such as extent that it has adopted the same 
devices, and has failed to raise the standards of medical practice/' 

Judge Tulin was one of the honest and principled referees of the Division. 
It is said to be the custom of the insurance companies to secure judgeships for 
the referees that can not be "fixed” and who therefore cost them too many 
costly awards. Her accusations are therefore significant especially in view of 
the importance of the law to industry and to the community. 

INJURED LITTLE PROTECTED 
Few of the pretended advantages to the injured worker have been attained, 
A majority of serious injuries are denied compensation through chicanery and 
fraud which generally revolve about the plea of "causal relationship/’ a prac- 
tice created by the Commission. Many claimants are unmercifully thrown out 
of "court” and denied compensation which the law intended them to have; 
contested claims often take months and sometimes years before an adjudica^ 
tion. In the meanwhile he is compelled to waste many days of his time 
attending futile hearings designed to tire his memory or to trap him into 
making some erroneous admission and possibly to confuse the presiding referee, 
in the hope that it will save the insurance company from paying any com- 
pensation. 

INJURED DENIED COMPETENT LEGAL AID 
In a very significant manner the practices set up by the Commission violate 
the letter and the spirit of the law. To eliminate chicanery and sharp prac- 
tices, the law provides that the proceedings before the Commission and its 
referees shall be fact finding hearings instead of legal skirmishes. This section 
is more honored by its breach than its observance. 

The injured employee of an insured employer is automatically deprived by 
the law of the right to trial by a jury of peers, clearly in violation of the 
Constitution. He is also deprived of the right of effective representation by 
an attorney, except at the will of the Commission, through its power to 
dicate legal fees. The fees generally allowed by the Commission, even though 
paid out of the award of the injured and a lien on it, are so small and inade- 
quate that few competent attorneys are willing to handle compensation cases 
except as a matter of charity or accommodation. 

The injustice of discouraging competent legal representation of the injured 
is made dear by the large volume of regulations, decisions and precedents 
accumulated about the law and its administration, and by their extreme, petti- 
fogging technicalities. The insurance carriers are invariably represented by 
shrewd and unscrupulous agents who are experts in the law in all its ramifica- 
tions and are supported by a costly legal staff that makes the law and its 
evasion its sole study. 

COMPETENT LEGAL AID FOR INJURED IS DICTATED BY 

FAIRNESS 

Fairness and honesty would impel the ruling that in every case which the 
insurance company chooses to contest, the injured must be represented by an 
attorney who will be paid on the customary basis of a percentage of the award. 


206 



In fairness to the injured, the insurance company and. not the injured, as at 
present, should be compelled to pay the fee of the attorney and all costs 
including those of medical experts. The fee scale allowed the professional 
talent of the injured should be on the same level as that paid by the insurance 
company to its professional aids. This would do much to discourage need- 
less appeals and litigation. 

Theoretically, the lone and lowly-paid referee of the Commission, before 
whom the hearing is held, should be both the unbiased arbiter and the skilled 
advocate for the injured plaintiff. Rule 6 of the Industrial Board provides 
in part: 

“Where claimant is not represented the referee shall examine the 
claimant and his witnesses and cross-examine the employer or carrier's 
witnesses on claimant's behalf." 

It is clearly impossible to be a neutral, unbiased and non-partisan judge 
and a partisan attorney for the injured plaintiff at the same time. 

BUT FAIRNESS IS NOT A FEATURE OF THE LAW 

It is not meant to imply that there are not some honest, competent and 
public spirited referees in the employ of the Compensation Division of the 
State Labor Department, The standards of fairness and honesty demanded 
by the law of the referees, however, have not been very high. It was only in 
1927, after the law had been in force for 13 years, that it was amended to bar 
physicians and surgeons employed in the Department from working for insur- 
ance companies while acting as referees and medical examiners. Prior to 
that time, it was not unusual for a medical examiner or referee to examine 
and treat injured persons for insurance companies whose cases they refereed. 
It is proverbially hard to serve two masters; and it is difficult to believe that 
there was no bias in the decisions of those referees in cases involving the 
insurance companies by which they were employed. 

PERJURED EVIDENCE ACCEPTED BY COMMISSION 

The amendment to the law arose from a flagrant case of bribery of a 
medical examiner of the Commission, who was caught red-handed in the pro- 
cess of fraudulently falsifying the report of seriously injured employees in the 
favor of insurance companies which had bribed him. Curiously enough, this 
same physician, who was discharged by the Commission because of this and 
other corrupt acts, continues to prowl about the corridors of the Department 
soliciting from insurance carriers the opportunity of testifying in their favor 
for high fees without regard to facts. In the past ten years this physician has 
been responsible for defrauding seriously injured employees out of many 
millions of dollars. Many of these injured have become charges of public 
charities as a consequence of his activities. 

Repeatedly this physician has been brought before the Grievance Com- 
mittee of the New York State Board of Medical Regents for frauds per- 
petrated upon injured employees. He was found guilty in at least one case 
and, though threatened with the loss of his license to practice medicine, he was 
let off with a warning. He continues to repeat the offense with impunity, 

207 



The Commission continues to accept his perjured evidence, and to deny 
compensation to seriously injured employees on the basis of his evidence* The 
physician in question complains that it cost him ten thousand dollars, on one 
occasion, to square himself with the authorities. Obviously he finds his prac- 
tice a profitable one and his political allies must be influential. The insurance 
companies still hire him to do their dirty work. 

The attitude of the Commission toward this physician and his type is 
expressed in a letter of former Commissioner Zimmer, replying to an injured 
employee who protested to the Commission that the doctor whom he had never 
seen before had falsely testified that he had examined him. The letter reads 
as follows: 

“Under the statute we cannot bar him from participating in examina- 
tions when employed to do so by carriers or claimants. Long ago the 
Department took necessary steps to be sure that he does not examine 
claimants, except when previously retained for the purpose* I am sure 
that your attorney, at least, will appreciate that neither the Commissioner 
nor myself can, with propriety, instruct the referees not to permit the 
introduction of Dr. S *s 'expert testimony.' ” 

The credibility of the witness in question could he destroyed in any court. 
But in compensation practice his evidence is accepted at face value by the 
referee and the Commission though they are fully aware of the witness’ dis- 
honest and disreputable character and activities. On the basis of his evidence, 
which often is known to the referee to be perjured, numerous injured workers 
have been defrauded out of compensation awards. 

“CASUAL RELATIONSHIP” A FRAUDULENT DEVICE 
In order to secure any award from the Commission, the injured must 
prove “causal relationship” between the accident and his injury. The proof 
of “casual relationship” devolves on the injured. It does not suffice to prove 
that he was healthy and sound, and capable of doing his work immediately 
before the injury, to prove that an accident occurred which promptly fol- 
lowed by an injury, and that the injury was promptly followed by disability. 
Even when the injured can completely prove all these points, “casual relation- 
ship” has not been fully established to the satisfaction of the Commission, He 
must be able to prove that the injury might not have occurred as a result of 
bodily disorders or as an act of God* 

INJURED “GUILTY, TILL PROVED INNOCENT” 

The injured is further handicapped by the adoption of the administration 
of the attitude that the injured is guilty of malingering until he proves himself 
innocent. This attitude had been eliminated from American jurisprudence 
until introduced into many phases of law administration by the “liberal” and 
“New Deal” agencies. This practise is good proof of the alien origin of the 
“reform.” 

The presumption of guilt of the injured is as powerful an influence in the 
disposition of the case as it is absurd No consideration is given by the Com- 
mission to the fact that it would be stupid for any sane person to malinger. 


20S 



For he cannot possibly profit by it. The awards under the Compensation 
law are only a fraction of the wages of the man when lie is uninjured and able 
to work. 

Clearly this practice is merely a device to defraud the injured of compen- 
sation justly due, in the great majority of cases. The Commission and its 
referees usually disregard the provision of the law which states that aggrava- 
tion of a previously existing disability is compensable. Abuses are especially 
frequent in cases involving serious and disabling injuries to the eyes and 
damage or loss of vision. 

PROOF OF “CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP" DEPENDS ON 
MEDICAL OPINION 

The proof of “causal relationship" under the practice evolved by the 
Commission, is entirely based on opinions expressed by physicians who testify 
either as medical attendants or as experts. They are generally elicited as 
responses to hypothetic questions, asking the physician whether in his opinion 
specified injuries could occur under specified circumstances and whether such 
injuries could cause the disabilities in question. These questions are drawn 
up with due regard to the rules of evidence and often with an eye to sup- 
pressing the truth. A favorite trick is to demand a “yes or no" answer. 

Hypothetic questions are a part of the chicanery of the law. But they are 
downright dishonest when used in these medical cases. For they imply an 
omniscience which neither the medical profession nor any of its members 
possess. There is so much that it not known about physiology that it is utterly 
impossible for any honest physician to say that any disease or physiologic 
derangement may or may not follow on any specific injury. The honest 
physician can merely testify that in his knowledge or opinion the consequences 
of a specific injury are usual or unusual. If he says more, the physician is 
either stupid or he lies. 

In final analysis, the only positive proof that an injury may occur under 
specified circumstances or may cause a specific disability is the fact that it has 
done so. The opinions of doctors that it should or should not have happened 
do not alter the fact that it has happened. It merely proves the limitations 
of medical knowledge and of the experience of the physician. Nevertheless, 
it is on the basis of such false medical testimony that the disposition of com- 
pensation cases generally depends. And it is the habit of the referees to give 
greatest weight to the evidence of doctors favoring the insurance companies, 
no matter how disreputable they may be. 

CONTROL OF MEDICAL CARE IS FAVORITE DEVICE FOR 
DEFRAUDING INJURED 

Since the granting of disability compensation depends almost entirely on 
the reports and opinions of doctors, the importance of control of doctors 
treating injured workers to insurance companies intent upon fraud is readily 
appreciated. Under the original version of the law, the employer nominally 
chose the physician or institution that cared for his injured employees. In 
actual practice the insurance companies generally intimidated the employers to 


209 



select physicians in their employ or chosen by them. With the aid of the 
Commission and its administration of the law, the insurance companies 
developed numerous technical devices to discourage or bar doctors not under 
their control from treating the injured. Physicians who had not “authoriza- 
tions’* drawn up in technically proper form were denied payment for their 
services. 

How far the referees went in this matter was illustrated by a case which 
I witnessed about a decade ago. The referee denied the small bill of a 
competent ophthalmologist because the employer testified that he had ordered 
his employee suffering from a serious eye injury, to go to the corner druggist 
for medical attention. This jeopardized the eyes and vision of the injured 
and violated the Medical Practice Act, The referee ruled that the employer 
had provided “adequate medical care/’ and denied a fee to the physician who 
had saved the man’s eye. 

LOW FEE SCHEDULE IS REJECTED BY MANY PHYSICIANS 

The low medical fee schedule which the Commission allows under its 
interpretation of the law discourages many physicians, thus leaving the field to 
men chosen by the insurance companies to whom they generally agree to pay 
more liberal fees. 

The Commission has fixed the fee scale at the level of clinic fees. The 
consequence thereof was that the majority of competent physicians refused to 
render service to compensation cases. Some idea of the inadequacy of the 
fee scale can be gained from the fact that it is no higher than prevailed one 
hundred and fifty years ago. Even these inadequate fees, the private physician 
often fails to get or gets only after endless delays and waste of time that 
involve considerably higher loss than the sums involved, 

BUT EVEN THOSE FEES MAY NOT BE PAID 

An endless array of technicalities stands between the doctor and his fees 
in these cases. He must have a legally valid “authorization” from the 
employer that has not been revoked in the interim. He then must have filed 
several reports of the case with both the insurance company and the Com- 
mission, which must be made under oath before a notary and placed in the 
files of the Commission in a manner that does not permit denial of receipt 
within a specified time after the injury. For the denial of the receipt of the 
report on time may constitute grounds for rejection of bills for medical 
services. The Commission does not acknowledge the filing of such reports, 
as is done by the courts with other legal documents. There are cases on 
record of the theft of sheaves of medical reports by representatives of insur- 
ance companies for the purpose of barring claims for compensation and medical 
fees. 

The doctor must then appear before the referee in reply to subpoenas at 
numerous hearings which generally involve the loss of practice and income, for 
which he was not paid. These hearings generally are repeatedly adjourned 
by the referee at the instance of the insurance company representative. This 
is done for the purpose of tiring out or “shaking” the doctor and the injured. 


210 



At the hearing the physician is badgered by attorneys of the insurance com- 
pany with endless legal cross-examinations which, with the demand for "yes 
or no” answers, are generally designed to subvert and suppress the truth and 
to destroy the case by some legal technicality. 

In the end, after averting all the traps and pitfalls that beset the way, the 
physician often never receives payment of his fee even though the Commission 
grants compensation to the injured. After years of effort on behalf of the 
injured, a physician was denied his fee by the Commission on the technicality 
that the employer had agreed to pay it in his original authorization and request 
for treatment. This the Commission interpreted as a contract and it there- 
fore denied its jurisdiction. When an attempt was made to take the case 
before the Courts, it was found that under the law the agreement was not a 
contract. Therefore by chicanery of the referee the fee for years of service to 
the injured could not be collected either under Compensation or civil law. 

MORELAND COMMISSION REPORT OF ABUSES 

The consequence of the dishonest and in competent administration of the 
law has been corruption and fraud on a wholesale scale and the perpetration 
of the grossest brutality and malpractice on the injured. This is borne out by 
the findings of the Moreland Commission, appointed by Governor Franklin 
D. Roosevelt, in 1931, to investigate the administration of Workmen’s Com- 
pensation. It reported that the majority of compensation cases fell into the 
hands of commercial compensation clinics of the lowest order. 

The State Industrial Council reported in its investigation of the compen- 
sation clinics, which was instituted primarily for the benefit of the business of 
voluntary hospitals that had suffered severely during the depression, as follows: 

“We have found clinics located in unsanitary tenement houses in 
space wholly unsuitable to the purpose, dark, ill- ventilated and with 
floors, ceilings and walls wholly incapable of being maintained in the 
condition of cleanliness required of a surgical establishment. 

“Aside from the suitability of the quarters occupied, we have found 
apparently complete disregard of ordinary standards of cleanliness. As 
an instance of dangerous equipment in use, we found an X-ray apparatus 
entirely devoid of any protective screen.” 

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Max Meyer, reported to Com- 
missioner Francis Perkins in further detail. Compensation clinics were found 
in charge of lay secretaries who gave all routine treatment and summoned the 
doctor only in emergency. Patients were treated with regard to asepsis. 

“It was as if Lister and Pasteur had never lived,” stated Mr. Meyers. 
FRAUD IN FEES 

These clinics generally were rendered profitable to their proprietors as a 
result of collusion with the adjusters of insurance companies, involving the 
payment to them of graft or of a percentage of the bills allowed by them. A 
number of insurance adjusters have been prosecuted and sent to jail in recent 
years for defrauding their companies. There is now pending in Brooklyn 


211 



an indictment o f a group of employees of the New York State Insurance 
Fund alleging wholesale frauds perpetrated by them. 

There are a few physicians who engage in compensation work who have 
remained scrupulously honest But the majority of them have matched the 
injustice and fraud of the Workmen’s Compensation Commission and the 
insurance companies, and have resorted to padding bills, falsifying records and 
other fraudulent practices. The situation has been aptly depicted by Assistant 
District Attorney Bernard Botem of New York in his report of November 
1937 to the Appellate Division and the Bar Association on accident fraud. 
He blamed not only the insurance men who had been indicted but insurance 
companies in general. He reported that their unfair and unethical opposition 
to payment of legitimate claims make exaggeration of claims a practice 
acquiesced in by both sides* 

THE BUSINESS OF GOUGING OUT EYES 
The grossness of the brutality and malpractice that has arisen under the 
law and its maladministration is illustrated by the following case. 

In 1927, one of my patients, L M , sustained a severe 

lime burn in one eye. Treatment was being rendered by me under 
proper written authorization by the employer. The insurance company 
involved did its utmost, as is the usual practice, to induce the injured to 
leave my care and accept the care of its physician, but he refused. Finally 
a representative of the insurance company approached me with a pro- 
position: Since the treatment of the injured eye would be very prolonged 
and expensive, and it was obvious that, even after treatment was com- 
pleted, one could not feel certain that the man’s vision would be better 
than ten percent, the insurance company would be compelled to pay for 
the loss of the eye, as well as an additional sum for facial disfigurement. 
If I would remove the eye without regard to the possibility of recovery 
of vision, he offered to pay me half of the estimated resultant savings in 
hospital and treatment expenses. Gouging out an eye was for them 
simply a matter of profit — dollars and cents. This case makes one 
shudder to think of the injured victims of some physicians controlled by 
the insurance companies who are compelled to do as bid, instead of order- 
ing the adjuster off the premises, as I did. 

DELAYS OF COMPENSATION 
Prominent among the advantages which Organized Social Service and its 
propagandists represented as offered by the Workmen’s Compensation Act 
were elimination of legal delays and prompt payment of disability allowances. 
These have failed to materialize. 

The delays of Compensation procedure dwarf court delays, have involved 
great hardship on the injured. Often they have meant neglect of treatment 
and sometimes death. In cases of serious injuries, years might elapse before 
the injured have received a penny disability allowance, if ever. Hearings have 
been adjourned for months, and sometimes for years. Usually the testimony 
has not been transcribed unless paid for. When made they have been in- 


212 



accurate and often falsified, particularly in the matter of testimony favorable 
to the injured. 

HONEST PROTECTION OF RECORDS DENIED INJURED 

All the safeguards which surround testimony and records in the courts 

non-partisanship of the judge, accuracy of records and their transcription and 
safekeeping, representation by competent attorney — have been denied the in- 
jured by the Compensation Commission. 

This has aided materially the perpetration of frauds by the highly skilled 
legal representatives of the insurance carriers who are bent upon taking advan- 
tage of the numerous technicalities of the law. In minor cases, which involve 
little or no expense to the insurance companies, there is usually little contest. 
But in serious cases, involving loss of life or incapacitating disability, the insur- 
ance companies avail themselves of every subterfuge of the law. 

DELAY AND CHICANERY PRACTISED 

Repeated reh carings are held on the same phase of the testimony. At each 
hearing the skilled representatives of the insurance companies seek to break 
down the evidence of the undefended, injured claimant and to tire out his wit- 
nesses. Not infrequently evidence giving proof of the accident may not be 
called for until months or years have elapsed. In the meantime, pressure is 
brought to bear upon witnesses, and fellow employees are bulldozed and 
coached into rendering testimony favorable to the employer and his insurance 
carrier. 

If the injured be granted compensation by the Commission, appeals involve 
interminable delays. The insurance company is encouraged to appeal. The 
injured is discouraged and lacks resources. In cases which have been pending 
for seven years or more, awards are not paid by the insurance company (except 
a nominal fixed amount) but arc paid by the State from a special reserve fund, 
thus encouraging delay. 

When an award has been granted by the Commission not infrequently it 
has been for but a fraction of the amount which is due the injured under the 
law. Thus if he has suffered from blindness and slight facial disfigurement as 
a result of his injury, a nominal grant is made for one and not the other. 
Hearings arc permitted to drag out. The repeated hearings result in loss of 
workdays and so often threaten loss of employment that the injured prefer to 
neglect them and hold their jobs. Upon this the insurance companies depends 
for defrauding many injured, 

OFFICIAL STATISTICS THAT HIDE TRUTH 

The Workmen’s Compensation Division publishes a veritable avalanche 
of statistics prepared by its ample statistical staff. But by a most curious 
chance, it does not publish any statistical analysis of the cases denied compen- 
sation detailing the nature of injuries which they sustained, the reasons for 
denial of compensation, the time which elapsed between the filing of claims, 
their settlement, and the payment of compensation. There is no data more 
vital for an evaluation of the administration of the law. 


213 



A request forwarded to the Director of the Workmen’s Compensation 
Division for a statistical analysis of rejected cases brought the following reply, 
under date of December IO, 1935: 

“In reply to your letter of November 29th, I wish to advise that we 
do not have a statistical analysis on which claims have been denied. We, 
of course, can obtain that information, but I do not feel justified in mak- 
ing the study without some indication of a need for it. 

“When I spoke to you recently on the 'phone you informed me that 
you had a record of some thirty cases in which compensation had been 
denied, and, as I informed you at that time, I would appreciate it if you 
would submit a list of the cases so that I may make a study of them. If 
the thirty cases you mention indicate that a study of all our discontinued 
cases should be made, you may rest assured it will be done promptly. 

Very truly, 

(Signed) M. J. Murphy, Director . 
Division of Workmen's Compensation. 

The obvious interest of such statistics of rejected cases is borne out by 
the fact that the Director himself had ordered a survey of rejected cases for 
his own private use, which was carefully suppressed. This survey, according 
to the statistician of the Department, revealed the following: 

ONE-HALF OF THE REJECTED CLAIMS ARE REJECTED NOT BECAUSE 
COMPENSABLE ACCIDENT WAS PROVED, BUT BECAUSE THE INJURED EM- 
PLOYEE COULD NOT PROVE “CAUSAL RELATION” OF DISABILITY TO ACCI- 
DENT, or, in other words, could not prove to the satisfaction of an antago- 
nistic referee that he would not have suffered disability from an act of 
God bad the accident not occurred. 

In short, the Commission's statistician acknowledged in effect that one-quarter 
of the injured applicants for compensation probably were defrauded out of 
compensation and consequently thrown out as charges upon the community. 
From personal observation, I hazard the statement that the twenty- five percent 
of the cases which were rejected on the ground of “causal relation” include 
the great majority of serious injuries which would have involved a large cost 
to the insurance companies. 

I here outline a number of cases included in the rejected group, from 
among those which have come under my personal observation: 

“CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP” SAVES INSURANCE COMPANY 

MONEY 

A. G. Case No. 3231644, Injured August 8, 1932, by rim of tire strik- 
ing right ridge of forehead, causing a lacerated wound on the forehead, a 
fracture of the margin of the orbit and blindness of the right eye. The in- 
jured had been continuously employed up to the time of the accident and had 
been efficient. But the insurance company alleged, without any proof, that 
he had been suffering from a disease of the eye which purely as a matter of 
coincidence resulted in blinding at the time of the accident. The injured was 


214 



as unable to disprove this allegation as the insurance company was to prove it. 
The referee denied compensation and saved the company three thousand dol- 
lars, The injured was ousted by his employer at the behest of the insurance 
company on the ground of his disability, was denied W. P, A, employment 
for the same reason, and became a public charge. The referee’s technical 
ground for denying compensation was " CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT 
PROVED r 

INSURANCE COMPANY PHYSICIAN AIDS FRAUD THROUGH 
“CASUAL RELATION” 

P. deK, Case No. 3331 1099. Injured October 29, 1933, in left eye, his 
only good eye, by intense electric arc due to short circuiting of electric cable. 
Employer witnessed the injury and rendered first aid. Subsequently the injury 
was treated for a number of months by a physician employed by the insurance 
company. When it became apparent that there would be a permanent loss of 
vision, the doctor altered his diagnosis and reported to the Commission that it 
was not due to injury, but to a pre-existing syphilitic condition. Compensation 
was denied on the basis of the insurance company physician’s statement. 

Subsequent examination of the man’s eye revealed a typical burn and a 
cataract of the type caused by intense electric arcs. His vision was severely 
impaired. He lacked the funds to fight the insurance company before the 
Commission. His attorney would not continue with the case because the 
Commission denied him payment since compensation had not been granted. 
The referee’s technical ground for denying compensation was “ CAUSAL 
RELATIONSHIP NOT PROVED”. 

“UNBIASED” MEDICAL REFEREE SAVES INSURANCE 
COMPANY MONEY 

M. R. Case No. 31613949. Injured May 13, 1932, by chip of stone 
flying from slab under hammer blow and striking his eye. Treatment was 
rendered by insurance company ophthalmologist. When it became apparent 
that the eye condition was not due to injury, but to pre-existing disease of 
chronic nature affecting both eyes; and that the immediate cause of the im- 
pending loss of the eye was the blocking of the central retinal vein. 

Several physicians testified that the condition causing the loss of the eye 
arose from injury, and that systemic condition reported by the insurance com- 
pany did not exist in other eye as alleged. This was also borne out by photo- 
graphs of that eye taken a long time after injury, which showed none of the 
permanent changes, thrombosis, described by the insurance company physicians. 
But this absolute proof of the falseness of the diagnosis was kept out of the 
record of the case by technicalities of rules of evidence which were brought 
into play by the attorneys of the insurance company. The pathologist who 
examined the removed eye, at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, might 
have introduced the truth into evidence. He refused to do so, because his 
boss at the hospital was the insurance company’s physician. 

Dr. Arnold Knapp, who was “chief” of the Knapp Memorial Hospital 


215 



which treated a large number of compensation cases for the insurance com- 
panies, was selected by the Commission as “unbiased” medical referee in the 
case. In spite of the fact that sections of the removed eye were available for de- 
termination of the exact condition causing its removal, Dr. Knapp hypothesized 
on the basis of the false diagnosis of the insurance company physicians. He ruled 
that the loss of the eye was not due to the injury. Compensation was denied, 
saving the insurance company several thousand dollars. Verdict of referee 
and Commission: " CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT PRO FED/' 

LEGAL KILLING SAVES INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY 

P, C. Case No. 3328471. Injured September 6, 1933. While driving 
truck he was forced to swerve into a ditch to avert collision and was jolted 
and struck forcibly on back of head by the steel hood of his truck He 
managed to finish his day’s work and to drive the truck back to the garage. 
He reported himself injured and suffering from intense pain in the head and 
unable to walk without pain. He entered the hospital on the following day. 
There a diagnosis of intra-cranial hemorrhage was made. The insurance 
company asked his transfer to the Neurological Institute at its expense for 
further diagnosis and treatment. 

Although he was found to be very sick, the physician at the Neurological 
Institute obliged the insurance company by finding a tumor of the skull and 
asserting that the man’s disability ad nothing whatsoever to do with the 
accident. The company refused any further aid than to refer him to a city 
hospital for X-ray treatment. 

(Insurance companies have found it well worth their while to place the 
roentgenologists of municipal hospitals on their pay-rolls. The companies 
send them large volumes of X-ray work in their private practices, which they 
conduct in spite of the fact that they are supposedly full-time employees of the 
city.) 

At the hospital, the injured was so maltreated with X-rays that he 
developed terrific X-ray burns of the head and neck. Intense X-raying of 
the acutely burned area was persisted in, until I advised the victim to refuse 
further treatment because of the danger of developing cancer. It is well 
known that burning by X-ray, and especially persistent X-raying of a burnt 
area, causes cancer. 

The insurance company, however, importuned the man to return for 
further X-raying, threatening that there would be no possibility of a compen- 
sation award unless he continued treatment. He finally returned to the hos- 
pital and was given an uglier X-ray burn than the first and maltreated until, 
in his agony, he refused to submit any longer. Within a year following, this 
victim died of generalized cancer of an entirely different type from that 
originally diagnosed, which without much question had been caused by the 
X-raying. 

This is the most horrible and deliberately perpetrated bit of malpractice 
that has ever come to my notice. But patients may not recover for malpractice 
perpetrated in municipal, charitable hospitals. 

The man never received compensation, because the referee denied that 


216 



there was any causal relationship between the injury and the mans inability 
to work, which immediately followed. When he died and cancer was found 
at autopsy, the Commission closed the case, and denied compensation to his 
widow. This deliberate and cold-blooded killing within the law saved the 
insurance company over five thousand dollars. 

It eloquently bespeaks the corruption of some of the examiners in the 
Commission’s medical division that on June 3, 1934, at a time when the in- 
jured man could no longer walk because of paralysis, a report was rendered by 
one of its members to the effect that he had found no evidence of paralysis; 
and that this report was made the basis of the rejection of a request for an 
appeal. The decision of the referee and Commission was that the injured had 
shown 'WO CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP ,J between the accident and 

THE DISABILITY IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THEREON. 

IN ALL THE CASES CITED THE COMMISSION IGNORED THE PROVISION OF 
THE LAW WHICH MAKES COMPENSABLE THE AGGRAVATION OF A DISABILITY 
PREVIOUSLY EXISTING, BY AN ACCIDENT. THESE VICTIMS WERE ENTITLED 
TO COMPENSATION EVEN IF THE FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF THE INSURANCE 
COMPANIES AND THEIR DOCTORS WERE TRUE. 

“LABOR” VS. THE WORKKER 

The outrageous abuse and swindling of the injured under the Workmen's 
Compensation Act reached their highest level during the period that Madame 
Frances Perkins was at the head of the New York State Labor Department. 
Neither she, nor her fellow-travelers of the American Association for Labor 
Legislation, nor thetr social service allies, nor the bosses of labor unions had 
any fault to find with the law or its administration at that time. On the 
contrary, some labor union officials profited hugely from perpetration of 
swindles on the injured members of their own unions, on the pretense of 
“influence” and “fixing.” In some cases of influential persons and friends, a 
“fix” was arranged; but in the majority the hundreds of dollars collected was 
pocketed by the union representative and his confederates. 

PROSPEROUS MEDICAL BOSSES VIEWED COMPENSATION 
WORK WITH SCORN 

The compensation hospital and surgical business is a cheap trade and was 
regarded with scorn by the more snooty hospitals and their surgeons. During 
the era of prosperity they were well satisfied to relegate these cases to muni- 
cipal hospitals and clinics, generally to be treated as public charges and at no 
cost to the insurance companies. This arrangement greatly reduced the ex- 
penses and increased the profits of the companies, at the cost of the tax-payers. 

It mattered little to the medical bosses that they were thereby destroying 
a legitimate source of income for the rank and file of the medical profession. 
For in the municipal hospitals members of the medical staffs were barred from 
collecting from insurance companies for the treatment of their compensation 
cases. The bosses of medicine viewed the situation with malicious glee. They 
were well content with the ruling of the New York State Attorney General 
that permitted admission of injured charges of the insurance companies as 


217 



free charity cases to municipal hospitals and with the hospital regulations 
which barred the lesser fry physicians from collecting for services rendered. 

They also viewed with tolerant scorn the development of compensation 
clinics of the type described in the quoted Moreland report, Some influential 
physicians banded together and formed a corporation, the Wolf Industrial 
Service, that exploited chains of these compensation clinics. They wielded a 
powerful influence over the New York State Labor Department and were able 
to roll up large profits ; and were well satisfied with the law as it stood and 
vigorously opposed any change in the status quo. 

For almost a decade I had written, agitated and fought for reforms in 
Workmen's Compensation administration and for correction of abuses. Though 
I rarely handled any of the cases other than those in which outrageous frauds 
had been perpetrated, when my help had been sought to correct the injustice, 
the corruption and inhumanity of the situation stirred me. I sought to induce 
the social service and labor organizations to fight for correction of the abuses 
arising from the law, but was turned down by them with amusement and scorn. 

DEPRESSION AROUSES INTEREST IN COMPENSATION CASES 
When depression arrived the business of voluntary hospitals slumped 
badly. This seriously threatened the jobs of those engaged in hospital social 
service activities and their allies among the medical bosses. The social service 
clique, no matter how treacherous they may be with others, do hang together 
and rise to each other’s defense and aid. 

These gentry are always interested in public welfare when such interest 
fills their purses. They suddenly awoke to the discovery that depression had 
made the lowly Workmen's Compensation business one of the most profitable 
phases of medical and hospital business. They coveted that business for them- 
selves. Compensation cases looked like sure and easy pickings although 
meagre. Suddenly they conceived an immense sympathy for the injured work- 
men. Calling together their publicity men and their allies, they promptly 
proceeded to remedy the situation. The New York Academy of Medicine 
and the American College of Surgeons whose members previously had scorned 
Compensation work, eagerly participated in the campaign. 

REFORMS PROFITABLE TO THEMSELVES URGED 
The remedy which the medical bosses desired was quite obvious. The> 
sought to have compensation cases referred to their own hospitals to boost 
their business and incomes. The barring of compensation cases from the 
charity wards of the municipal hospitals was readily obtained by a regulation 
of the Commissioner of Hospitals. The voluntary hospitals eagerly competed 
for the Compensation business. But in order to get the maximum result from 
this direction, they found it necessary to eliminate competition of the com- 
pensation clinics. 

A campaign of righteous indignation was launched by the social service and 
hospital forces against the compensation clinics. In its course the injured 
employees and their rights were incidentally mentioned. In 1931 Governor 
Franklin D, Roosevelt, at the instance of these forces, appointed the Moreland 


218 



Commission, from the report of which I already have quoted, to investigate 
the Compensation situation. At its head he placed Howard Cullman, who is 
closely identified with the social service and hospital groups of New York City 
and was an executive of the Broad Street Hospital which did a thriving busi- 
ness in the Wall Street section of the city, A supplemental committee of 
medical bosses from among the membership of the New York Academy of 
Medicine was also appointed by the Governor to report on the situation. Both 
reports failed to emphasize or ignored the swindling of the injured by the 
insurance companies; but they stressed the defrauding of the insurance com- 
panies by the compensation clinics, 

FAIR PLAN OF REFORM PROPOSED BUT REJECTED 

Taking advantage of the spotlighting of the question, I offered a solution 
of the problem to Mr, Stone, of the Insurance Adjusters' Association, at a 
meeting of the Bronx County Medical Society, which embodied protection for 
all the parties involved. 

The fairness of this plan pleased neither the insurance companies, their 
social service allies, the hospitals nor the medical bosses. The medical societies 
and the insurance companies adopted five years later the parts of the plan 
which protects the incomes of medical bosses and their hospitals. But the 
adopted plan betrays both the injured and the rank and file of the medical 
profession. It has placed the insurance companies more firmly in control of 
the medical care of the injured than they had been before, and has made the 
defrauding of the injured more simple and mevi table than it had been under 
the original law. This plan was embodied in several amendments to the 
Workmen’s Compensation Act that were passed by the New York State Legis- 
lature in 1935 and still remain in force, 

THE AMENDED LAW ACCENTUATES THE ABUSES OF 

THE OLD 

The amended law pretends to establish for the injured worker freedom of 
choice of physician. Actually, this freedom is restricted to a list of physicians 
drawn up by the County Medical Societies. This was done on the pretext 
that industrial injury differs from other injuries and is a super-specialty. 
How this provision of the law is being used by the Societies to coerce physi- 
cians into membership and to intimidate them into doing their bidding has been 
related. 

As is the vogue in all social service and “New Deal” agencies, there is 
vested in the Workmen's Compensation Board of each County Medical 
Society legislative, executive and judicial power. The power of the Societies 
to exclude physicians from the treatment of compensation cases is arbitrary 
and absolute. No appeal can be made to the Courts. The Societies have 
demanded of their members as a condition for listing that they sign away their 
civil and constitutional rights and that they waive any redress for injuries 
which they may sustain as a result of the action of the Boards. 

The powers of these Boards exceed those vested in the State and restrict 
the license to practice medicine that is granted by the State They arbitrarily 

219 



dictate, on the basis of their own desires, inclinations and interests, the qualifi- 
cations for practice of the medical and surgical specialties on compensation 
cases and the physicians who may engage in them. Physicians who are not 
submissive to the medical bosses and refuse to pay tribute to their organizations 
are barred from listing in the panel no matter how distinguished or competent 
they may be. Without listing, the law bars them from collecting for the 
services which they render. In short, there has been created a grand and 
glorious racket that is extraordinarily profitable for the unscrupulous medical 
bosses. 

HOW INSURANCE COMPANIES CIRCUMVENT THE LAW 

The insurance companies have been able to retain the control over the 
doctors and their testimony that is so essential for their illicit activities, through 
circumvention of the amended law in several manners. First they have 
strengthened their hold on the County Medical Societies by placing the key 
officers on their payrolls or on their consultant staffs. The medical members 
of the County Medical and of the New York State Medical Society Boards 
on Workmen’s Compensation, and of the Industrial Council, and the inner 
clique of about forty “specially trained” physicians who alone may serve as 
“neutral” arbitrators, are all part time workers in their respective positions. 
Most of them are employees or consultants of insurance companies. All of 
them are free to act as consultants and to do other chores for the insurance 
companies on whose cases they pass judgment. Arbitrators who show an 
inclination to be fair are generally dropped. 

Dr. David J. Kaliski, Director of the Committee on Workmen’s Compen- 
sation, is paid a salary of five thousand dollars a year for part-time service 
out of the two dollars per head contributed by the members of the New York 
State Medical Society, Nevertheless, he has spent hours in court on some 
occasions to testify on behalf of insurance companies against members of the 
Society who were suing for payment of just charges for service rendered. 

Likewise, his predecessor, Dr. Morris Rosenthal, a number of years ago 
spent a full day in court to testify on behalf of an insurance company in a 
case involving a contract between a physician and an insured employer. Under 
direct examination Dr. Rosenthal denied that he had been employed ever 
before by an insurance company in any capacity. Under cross-examination, he 
belied his testimony and acknowledged that he had been employed as con- 
sultant by a specific insurance company as recently as the day before. The 
magazine of the New York County Medical Society, the Medical Week, 
refused to publish a report of this incident. 

The insurance companies are well aware that the medical boss absolutely 
dominates his hospital and his medical society, and is entirely willing to exploit 
both against his colleagues — for a consideration. They quickly place him 
under obligation by making him a consultant. A physician on the staff of a 
hospital who testifies against his superior does not long survive on the staff; 
and it is well nigh impossible to extract the truth from him when he knows 
that the “boss” is in the employ of the defendant insurance carrier. The law 
perpetuates abuses which the amendment was supposed to eliminate. 

220 



So long as this fraud-laden law remains on the statute-books, some protec- 
tion of the injured should be set up against those prostituted medical experts 
into whose hands so much power has been placed. The Commission should com- 
pel the publication and posting of the total payments made by insurance com- 
panies to physicians. In this manner the injured may learn to what extent the 
doctor’s testimony may be influenced by his earnings from the insurance com- 
panies. 

ROLE OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS 
Hospitals controlled by the American College of Surgeons play important 
roles in aiding insurance companies to circumvent the amended Workmen’s 
Compensation Act. And the booty of Workmen’s Compensation cases plays 
an important part in the bitter battles for control of hospitals that have hit 
the headlines of New York newspapers. 

In the closed hospitals of New York City, a patient is compelled to accept 
the services of the doctors on its staff. The insurance companies arrange to 
gain ascendency over hospital staffs in the manner already noted. In some 
cases they go even further. They purchase hospital positions for the medical 
hirelings who do their dirty work. Not infrequently they gain control of 
smaller and financially weaker hospitals. They fill them with compensation 
cases for which nominal or no payment is made. They use them until a 
large deficit results. The hospital is then forced into bankruptcy, reorganized 
and used over again for the same purpose. 

Injured employees that enter these hospitals are more at the mercy of the 
corrupt insurance companies than they ever were under the original law which 
gave the companies openly the right of choice of physicians. In some of these 
hospitals there may be found the most unscrupulous and brutal of the medical 
agents of insurance companies who place an infinitely higher value on their 
own purses than on human lives. Through this device there are being per- 
petrated some of the most outrageous and heinous activities. 

The role of the American College of Surgeons in these activities cannot 
be overestimated. It aids its Fellows in capturing the hospitals by compelling 
their appointment on the penalty of withdrawing "approved” listing; throws 
a halo of sanctity over their staffs, however corrupt; and shields their malo- 
dorous practises. 

RESULTS SATISFY INSTIGATORS 
Organized Social Service, Organized Labor and the International Associa- 
tion for Labor Legislation, which have played so prominent a role in engineer- 
ing this ugly set-up, are no longer interested in the abuse and swindling 
that now flourish in Workmen’s Compensation. Equally indifferent are the 
members of the Industrial Council, the Industrial Board or the Industrial 
Commissioner. They deliberately ignore complaints and evidence of fraud 
placed before them. They shift the full burden of proof on the complainant 

and then proceed to whitewash the accused. Even the notorious Dr. S 

whose activities have been recounted is undisturbed by them in his frauds and 
perjuries. 

Abuses in the administration of the law are obvious and matters of common 

221 



knowledge. They have been, the subject of several investigations and public 
hearings, and of publicity and campaigning in the New York newspapers. 
Organized Social Service cannot claim that it is not fully aware of the extent 
and the nature of the fraud perpetrated upon the injured nor can the officials 
involved claim that they- are not acquainted with the corrupt and dishonest 
administration of the law, 

COMPENSATION COSTS INCREASE UNEMPLOYMENT 
The burden of compensation insurance has become so heavy in New York 
that some industries have been compelled to close down and throw their 
workers into the rank of the unemployed. Many workers, especially those 
who have had injuries or those over forty years of age, are barred from 
employment by the rigid examinations required by insurance companies since 
the law has been amended to make diseases compensable. The State Insurance 
Fund does not require these examinations, but its rates are excessive and 
penalize severely employers whose risks are bad. This compels the employer 
to reject the same group of employees to avoid excessive insurance costs, 

A number of striking examples of stimulation of unemployment by Work- 
men's Compensation insurance costs have come to public attention. Thus 
Mr. George J. Atwill, a New York builder, filed a complaint with the 
N.Y. State Department of Labor asserting that insurance company examina- 
tions had forced into unemployment sixty-five of three hundred and sixty-five 
employees. The State Industrial Commissioner, Elmer F. Andrews, replied 
to the complaint in the press with the statement that the State Insurance 
Fund would have required no examination; bu& he did not explain to the 
public that the cost of this insurance would have been tremendously higher 
and prohibitive. A Walkill farmer stated in a letter to the New York Times 
on January 3, 1933, that farm insurance rates of the State Fund are so high 
as to prohibit employing men for needed work, 

COMMISSIONER LAUDS “CHARGES ON INDUSTRY” 

New York State Industrial Commissioner Frieda S. Miller, at the annual 
luncheon of the Beekman Street Hospital in January 1940, sang the praises 
of Workmen's Compensation Laws. She said: 

“labor accidents are now put where they belong as one of the charges 
on industry,” 

She proceeded to say that similar progress must be made during the succeed- 
ing twenty- five years in cooperation between the government and private 
hospitals in such matters as sickness during involuntary unemployment and 
social health problems. It is clearly the attitude of herself and her clique that 
“Socialized Medicine” is to serve the purpose of burdening industry with 
added charges. With their propaganda Bismarck's “New Deal” marches on 
to new achievements in disrupting our industry and commerce, throwing our 
workers out of employment and “hastening the Revolution.” 

In all these things we can discern the extent of the beneficence of Or- 
ganized Social Service, and the blessing which it confers upon the nation. They 
clearly presage what benefits can be expected by the public from “Socialized” 
Medicine which is advocated by the same group. 


222 



CHAPTER XVII. 


STATE MEDICINE AND COMPULSORY HEALTH 

INSURANCE 

TOTALITARIAN QUACK REMEDIES A LA BISMARCK 
'J’he stresses of depression have accentuated the need for a solution of many 
of the problems around which the Medical and Social Service Rackets 
have revolved. Having gained virtual control of our government, the latter 
unscrupulously have thrown the entire blame for hospital and medical costs 
on the former. Equally unscrupulously, they arc advocating Compulsory 
Health Insurance or State Medicine as a remedy. 

This pretended remedy is a part of the original treacherous German pro- 
paganda program, dating back to the days of Bismarck, for forcing the Bis- 
marxian <c New Deal” on the United States to handicap its industries and 
commerce. 

The propaganda has been well organized and is spread by a vast array of 
organizations which either have been established specially for the purpose or 
have been inveigled into espousing this "cause.” In the front ranks of these 
propagandists are the multitudinous organizations of the Social Service Racket. 
Side by side with them are medical and the "liberal,” radical, Socialist, Com- 
munist, united front, fellow traveler, labor and outright seditious organiza- 
tions. Both the Democratic and Republican par Lies now have joined their 
ranks. Thus on March 19, 1940, Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of 
Massachusetts introduced a health insurance hill that provides forty dollars a 
year from Security funds for medical care and Federal funds for payment for 
expensive drugs. This is designed as a direct subsidy of the profits of the 
Drug Trust. 

Linking together 3nd pervading all of these organizations there are pro- 
fessional, political and social service agitatois who constitute a cabal that devote 
their entire lives to this and allied subversive activities. Most of them have 
penetrated into high rank in our governmental, university and school systems 
in the manner that has become the accepted form demanded by the high stand- 
ards of modern propaganda and espionage. 

So highly do the Communist propagandists regard Socialized Medicine that 
they included a special course on "the organization of medicine as a state func- 
tion” in the Anglo-American section of the Summer session of the Moscow 
University. On the staff were Susan M. Kingsbury, Harry W. Chase, John 
Dewey, Hal lie F. Flannagan, George S. Counts and William F. Russell, a 
group of American university professors. 

Lurking in the background, fomenting the agitation and liberally sup- 
porting it with funds are the subsidiaries and a gents of the German Dye Trust. 
As has been related, it expects to reap as profit, with the aid of the dictatorial, 

223 



arbitrary and needlessly destructive Food and Drug Act, a monopolistic control 
of the highly profitable American drug trade* In the same manner it has 
gained control of the drug industries of more than a score of countries. 

the agitators propose to saddle themselves and their allies on 
the government payroll as administrators of the plan, there they 
expect to be supported in the sumptuous style that they deem 

SUITABLE, BY THE MONEY EXTRACTED FROM PAY ENVELOPES. THEY ALSO 
PROPOSE TO USE THEIR POSITIONS FOR FURTHER SUBVERSIVE PROPAGANDA, 
RECENT CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS HAVE REVEALED HOW THE COM- 
MUNIST PROPAGANDA IS MADE SELF-SUPPORTING IN THE U. S. BY THE SET- 
TINC UP OF DOMESTIC ORGANIZATIONS WHICH COLLECT FUNDS OSTENSIBLY 
FOR OTHER PURPOSES AND CONVERT THEM TO PROPAGANDA USES* 

THE RELIEF, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND SECURITY ADMINISTRA- 
TIONS, CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS HAVE REVEALED, ALREADY ARE FILLED 
WITH ANTI-AMERICAN PROPAGANDISTS OF ALIEN "iSMS,” AND MUCH OF THE 
ENORMOUS VOLUME OF MONEY WHICH THE NATION IS POURING INTO THEM 
IS BEING DIVERTED AND CONVERTED INTO PROPAGANDA FUNDS, 

COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE IS REGARDED BY THESE AGITATORS AS 
THE RICHEST POSSIBLE SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR THEIR ACTIVITIES, WHICH EX- 
PLAINS THE INTENSITY AND INSISTENCE OF THEIR DRIVE FOR ITS ADOPTION. 

FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS— FORUMS FOR 

PROPAGANDA 

These agitators have been highly successful in using the Federal and State 
governments, which they now control, as forums for their propaganda. They 
have staged impressive “conferences” and “investigations” that have been 
crudely rigged propaganda for their plans mouthed by their henchmen. All 
persons or organizations that might tell the truth or expose the propagandists 
and their plots are barred from a hearing. They are staged in the same spirit 
and with the same technique as similar elements in Russia and Germany have 
staged their “purge” and Reichstag trials* 

Most prominent among these forums were the National Health Confer- 
ence held in Washington in the summer of 1939, and the December 1938 
hearings of the New York State Temporary Commission to Formulate a 
Health Program. Appropriations for both were provided by bills introduced 
respectively by Senator Robert F, Wagner and Assemblyman Robert F. 
Wagner, Jr. In both forums the same organizations were represented by the 
same group of propagandists and agitators. They presented stereotyped false 
data and statistics that have been standardized by them during years of use. 
Their falseness is obvious from an analysis of their ideas, stripped of the camou- 
flage of verbiage, which are as follows: 

The great majority of the American public are “medically indigent.” 
The propagandists do not say, however, that it is “automobile in- 
digent,” “beauty parlor indigent” or “liquor indigent,” though it spends 
more on each of those items than it does on medical care. 


224 



Poverty breeds illness due to lack of medical care. 

Medical care is a basic need for the maintenance of health. 

THE REMEDY FOR NEED IS OFFICIAL EXTORTION, or forcing the public 
to pay for medical care by compulsory deduction from their wages of the 
money that it is alleged they cannot afford to pay. 

They wish us to believe that the health of the nation will benefit in spite 
of the lack of food, clothing and shelter which the deducted money represents, 
vicariously by the fattening and battening thereon of the agitators, propa- 
gandists and social service bureaucracy; and by filling with cheap medicine 
victims who lack the necessities of life. Their arguments are as obviously 
absurd as their motives are specious and false. 

THE "MEDICINE SHOW” 

The absurdity of the representations of the propagandists is made most 
clear by the "Medicine Show,” a recent production in the "living newspaper , 11 
W.P.A. Communist propaganda program. This liturgical mystery play of 
the Communist Church made it quite clear that the underlying cause of 
misery and disease is poverty and not the lack of medical care. 

It presents no solution of the problem. Instead it absurdly intimated that 
Compulsory Health Insurance, especially in the form of the Wagner Bill, 
that proposes to deduct insurance payments from the workers' payrolls, will 
solve the problem. The maudlin audiences were overcome by their own wishful 
thoughts on the topic and by a quasi- religious fervor aroused by the sloppy 
emotionalism of the acting and the seething hatred depicted, and applauded 
loudly and long. 

Few of the audience showed enough good sense to stop and consider that 
wage deductions for insurance premium payments will intensify poverty and 
its consequences; that the only real and complete solution of the problem of 
health and medical care for the needy is the solution of the problem of 
poverty. 

THE “HEALTH INSURANCE” FRAUD 

The Health Insurance and State Medicine campaigns which are now being 
waged in the press by social service and by government agencies is characterized 
by gross misrepresentation, deceit and fraud on the American public. 

The public is being led to believe that the object of the proposed measures 
is to reduce for it the cost of medical care. The reverse is the truth, 

ALL THE “HEALTH INSURANCE” PLANS WHICH HAVE BEEN ADVANCED 
WILL COMPEL THE PUBLIC TO PAY HIGHLY FOR MEDICAL SERVICES WHICH IT 
NOW RECEIVES FREE OF ALL DIRECT CHARGE. 

When Mr. Jones becomes ill, today, he can go to a municipal or county 
hospital and may claim the medical services available free of charge. To 
do so is his right as a resident of the community, whether he be rich or poor. 
In relatively few sections of the country are such facilities entirely lacking. 

But with the adoption of any of the forms of State Medicine which have 
been proposed, Mr. Jones will no longer have this right to medical care unless 
he pays into the insurance fund a high percent of his wage. These contribu- 
tions and levies are the essence of the “insurance,” 


225 



The estimated cost of this health insurance to Mr. Jones ranges from five 
to fifteen percent of his wages . The total cost of all the “health,** “security/* 
and “welfare” measures, adopted and contemplated, will range from fifteen 
to twenty percent of his wages. 

If Mr. Jones* present wage is scarcely sufficient to purchase food, clothing 
and shelter, can one fail to realize how soon the costly “welfare** program will 
reduce him to misery, starvation, disease and possibly worse? 

The campaign to secure the passage of “health insurance** legislation is 
being waged very astutely by its advocates. They not only misrepresent their 
program to the public, but they also misrepresent the source of the demand 
for it as coming from the public. They ride human gullibility hard when they 
seek to create the impression that the public demands to pav for some- 
thing WHICH IT NOW RECEIVES FOR NOTHING. 

There is little reason to believe that these astute propagandists will not 
succeed in their swindle and fraud on the American public if their censor- 
ship and their corruption of the Press cannot be penetrated by the truth. With 
their present set-up they could even manage to make the legislators believe that 
the public wants to pay more taxes, that it desires to have its rent increased and 
that it insists on an increase of the cost of living and a drop in wages. 

THE POLITICIAN AND “SOCIALIZED” MEDICINE 

Only politicians pretend to be deceived by the sham that the demand for 
Socialized Medicine arises from the public. The political demagogue seeks 
the highest advantage to himself that is compatible with holding the vote at 
the next election. In this he is more restrained than the social service crew 
who even need not keep an eye on the vote but seek their own advantage only. 

Compulsory Health Insurance makes of medicine a political tool that can 
be used to hold votes and to create numerous jobs for ward -heelers; and is an 
issue that can readily be popularized by misrepresentation. It is the ideal 
weapon of the demagogue as well as of treacherous propagandists. It is not 
surprising that the “leaders” of all political parties aie adopting the issue of 
Compulsory Health Insurance as the basis of their political platforms. If 
they did not they would be statesmen, not demagogues. 

MEDICAL SERFS FAVOR COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE 

Medical serfs, the rank and file of the medical profession, favor Compul- 
sory Health Insurance. Contrary to the impression which is being given the 
public by the press, they have joined the ranks of the propagandists. Their 
motives are frankly and openly mercenary, and consequently their support of 
the measure is being kept carefully from public notice. They want Compul- 
sory Health Insurance because under its terms the public will be forced to 
pay for the services that are now rendered by them free of charge in clinics 
and hospitals. Part of the money which the public will pay under the pro- 
posed plans would be given to the doctors for charitable services, the entire 
burden of which they are now carrying. 

Likewise a group of public health officers who have been placed in office 
by the propagandists favor Compulsory Health Insurance because they are 

226 



ordered to do so and because it means bigger and better jobs for them. In 
some communities they are building up health departments and other govern- 
ment services with an eye to converting them to the use of a Compulsory 
Health Insurance plan. 

MEDICAL BOSSES WANT EXTENSION OF STATE MEDICINE 

The medical leaders, merchants and bosses 3 however, are all opposed to 
Compulsory Health Insurance because it would reduce their incomes. But 
they do favor an extension of the same type of State Medicine the develop- 
ment of which they have fostered during the past four decades, because it 
serves their aggrandizement and advertises their businesses. 

The American Medical Association, since the earliest days of its renaissance 
under “Doc” Simmons, has fostered the idea of concentration of control of 
the Government's medical services into the hands of a Secretary of Health, a 
proposed member of the President's Cabinet who will be appointed from 
among its bosses. This indeed would lend the force of governmental sanction 
to the rackets of organized medicine. 

Drs. Morris Fishbein and Charles Gordon Heyd, ex-president and officer 
of the A. M. A. and A. C. S. have both made such suggestions public late 
in 1941. The A. M. A. made its ancient aspiration the backbone of 
its counter-proposal to the Wagner Act, with the added proviso that 
the Government pay the cost of charitable medical care and hospitalization. 
Thus the two rackets, medical and social service, are jockeying for the chance 
to rifie the public purse. The compromise Hospital Bill that was pro- 
posed by Roosevelt and introduced by Wagner was a bribe for medical mcr' 
chants and an entering wedge for the propagandists. 

SOCIAL SERVICE SEEKS FORTUNE IN STATE MEDICINE 

For many decades the social service cliques and their insurance allies have 
cast invidious eyes on the billions of dollars that arc spent by the public for 
medical care, hospitalization and nursing. Compulsory Health Insurance bills 
introduced in New York State Legislature in 1919 and 1920 by the social 
service gang were vigorously fought by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Com- 
pany which sought the profitable domain of health insurance for itself. Then 
these former enemies joined forces for no good purpose. 

To throw dust into the eyes of the public, they conducted bogus 
health campaigns and demonstrations, and misleading and falsified surveys on 
“The High Cost of Medical Care.’' But public suspicion should be aroused 
because in spite of all the statistics which the social service cliques hurl at the 
public, they never issue any on the cost of their own activities to the nation. 
They have never undertaken to reveal to the public the exorbitant cost of their 
own meddling, and the conversion to their own uses of charitable and trust 
funds intended by donors for relief and medical care of the poor. The his- 
tory of their activities makes it clear that the purpose of their deception is the 
desire to profit from the control of medicine and to- gain for themselves more 
and better jobs and higher wages. 

To be sure there are also agitators and propagandists who worship at 


227 



foreign shrines and serve other lands. They whisper among themselves that 
the staggering burden of taxation which their plans imply will paralyze in- 
dustry and commerce in the U. S. as it has in other lands where their subver- 
sive activity has succeeded. Some whisper that this will benefit the Vaterland. 
Others whisper that the tax burden will precipitate “the Revolution.” They 
are rats who “bore from within” for personal profit and baser motives, under 
the guise of high ideals. 

What the public can expect from the social service gentry and the remedies 
which they offer can be judged in two manners. Some premonition can be 
had from the maladministration of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, one 
of their proud creations. A brilliant picture of the Compulsory Health In- 
surance remedy which they are now brewing for this country can be had from 
a study of its operation in other lands that have adopted it as a result of their 
propaganda. Finally, the present corrupt and deplorable state of public health 
administration in this country demonstrates how dangerous is existent State 
or “Socialized” Medicine and dictates it abolition rather than its extension. 

DESPITE INSURANCE THE HEALTH OF GERMANY IS 

DEPLORABLE 

The effects of the “welfare” measures of Bismarck’s “New Deal” on Ger- 
many are notorious. How futile is Compulsory Insurance in preserving the 
health of a nation is apparent from Germany’s record. Some mention has also 
been made of the results that ensued when German propaganda secured the 
adoption of the same measures in France and England. Regarding its results 
in Communist Russia an honest evaluation is not possible because the break- 
down is so complete and the information available is biased and unreliable 
propaganda. Only one seemingly reliable bit of information regarding “So- 
cialized” Medicine in Russia seems to have emerged — the death of Maxim 
Gorki. This was the statements, no doubt extorted, by two doctors to the 
effect that they had been compelled for political reasons to put Gorki to death 
with drugs — a likely use of this type of medical care. 

COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE IN ENGLAND A 

FAILURE 

Complete and reliable information on the operation of Compulsory Health 
Insurance in England is available since 1915 in the annual reports of the 
Ministry of Health. Since these reports cannot be regarded as biased except 
in favor of Compulsory Health Insurance, their study yields a picture of the 
operation of the plan which should stand above all suspicion. The prosperity 
years 1925 to 1928 were selected as a fairer basis for discussion because they 
show up more favorably for the plan than later years of depression. 

Study of disease incidence and mortality in England reveals that Compul- 
sory Health Insurance has been a wretched failure. It has failed miserably 
to reduce the incidence of preventable diseases, which have increased steadily 

Smallpox had been almost entirely eliminated in England under the 
private practice of medicine. After more than a decade of State Medicine, the 
incidence of smallpox and other preventable contagious and infectious diseases 
in England was higher than ever, as indicated in the tabulation below. 


228 



INCIDENCE OF CONTAGIOUS AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN ENGLAND 

1925-28 



1925 

1926 

1927 

1928 

Smallpox 

Cases 

5353 

10141 

14787 

12420 

Deaths 

6 

11 

36 

53 

Diphtheria ( r ) 

Cases 

47720 

51069 

52011 

61x34 

Deaths 

2774 

2994 

2732 

3191 

Enteric fever (2) 

Cases 

^779 

2739 

2553 

3495 

Deaths 

388 

367 

367 

438 


(1) The incidence of Diphtheria in 1934 wag: cases, 68759: deaths, 40S5. 

(2) Including typhoid and paratyphoid. 


Of special interest is the influence of State Medicine on the incidence of 
syphilis and venereal disease, in view of the current campaign in this country. 
Syphilis claimed 22,010 new victims in England in 1924, and 22,761 in 1928, 
an increase of 3%. Gonorrhea claimed 29,477 Jn 1922, and 42,032 in 1928; 
the latter figure was the highest number of new cases recorded since the incep- 
tion of State Medicine in England. The total of venereal diseases rose steadily 
from 56,347 in 1922, to 65,931 in 1928. 

STATE MEDICINE CREATES CONTEMPT OF MEDICAL 

ADVICE 

The rising incidence of smallpox represented an index of the loss of prestige 
and authority of the doctor in the role of the hireling of the community. 
This growing contempt for the doctor expressed itself in the terms of a 
drop in the percentage of infants vaccinated from 48.7% in 1923, to 40.0% 
in 1930, with a corresponding rise in the incidence of smallpox. 

The effect of State Medicine, in all the different forms in which it has 
been tried, upon the character of the public and the attitude of the patients to 
their medical advisers has been distinctly deleterious. Folks are inclined to 
value a commodity or service according to tli£ charge placed upon it. Also, 
they esteem a man in proportion to the amount of authority which he exercises 
over them; and value his opinions and ideas accordingly. When they find that 
their physician is a low-paid hireling whose tenure of position is insecure and 
subject to their whims, they scorn him and his advice. This psychologic reac- 
tion has resulted, under Compulsory Health Insurance and State Medicine 
plans, in public disregard and contempt for the preventive health measures 
recommended by the medical profession, and in a consequent deterioration of 
health. 

THE PANEL SYSTEM 

The British Panel System, like other forms of Compulsory Health Insur- 
ance and State Medicine, is a system of medical "mass production.” Its evils 
are intensified by politics and by social service control. The cost of administra- 
tion and red tape has mounted steadily. After administrative costs and bene- 

229 



fits have been paid, there is little left of the money collected from the public 
for defraying the costs of medical and other services. 

The panel doctor receives a very small sum per patient each month. In 
order to make a scant living he must enlist as large a number of patients as 
possible. These he must make a hurried pretense of examining and treating, 
for no one may be kept waiting or turned away. This rush means careless 
negligence that often spells disability and death. 

TREATMENT "STANDARDIZED” 

Standardized methods of treatment are imposed upon the doctors by a con- 
trolling committee and bureaucracy. As a consequence, medical treatment, 
which is at best largely empiric and inadequate, loses flexibility and adaptability 
that often help to save or prolong life. But in self defense, the doctors must 
obey the orders of the swivel-chair squad and adhere to the standardized treat- 
ments. For in case of investigation of cause of death, the Ministry merely 
seeks to confirm that the treatments that were followed by death were the 
accepted” methods. 

As in all bureaucratic forms of medicine, there is barred play to the in- 
genuity and perseverance of a physician in fighting death, that alone may turn 
the tide; for that often means deviation from “accepted” methods. As a result 
England’s death-rate has risen steadily. It was so high in 1938 that an effort 
was made to suppress its publication, 

REPORTS AND CERTIFICATES MAKE CLERKS OF DOCTORS 

Much of the hard-pressed panel doctor’s time must be spent in keeping 
records, making reports, complying with red-tape, undergoing investigation and 
issuing disability certificates. He is reduced to the role of a clerk and pawn of 
a “mass production” machine of which the principal output is malpractice. 

Most important, in the Panel System, is the issuance of certificates for 
“sickness disability payments.” They present to the doctors a grave problem. 
The doctor who issues more certificates than the bureaucrats think justified 
lays himself open to investigation, censure and penalty. But the doctor who 
issues fewer disability certificates than his patients demand soon finds his 
panel deserted ; for the drones seek to avoid work by malingering sickness and 
prolonging disability. The doctors are helpless to avert the pressure of their 
employer- patients and are forced to falsely attest to disabilities in order to 
retain their practises and make a living. 

PRICE LIMITS MEDICINES USED 

A large section of the Ministry’s report is filled by the question of drugs 
and their cost. The amount of money left for the purchase of drugs under 
these plans is very small. A list of cheap drugs, known as “economic phar- 
macopoeia/’ limits the range of prescribing by physicians. Other drugs that 
are more expensive may not be used, no matter how required they may be, 
except in case of threatening death. These lists bar the use of many essential 
drugs such as the hormones, which are costly, except at the expense of the 
patient. 


230 



In ordering medication for his patient, the panel doctor faces another 
thorny dilemma. He may use only those remedies which are approved by the 
State as being sufficiently cheap for panel use; and he must be sparing even 
in his use of those. The bureaucrats and chair* warmers of the Ministry safe* 
guard their salaries by fixing a maximum expense per patient for drugs. If 
the doctor finds it necessary to prescribe more costly medicines, or a larger 
volume of the inexpensive medicines, than his superiors allow, he finds himself 
brought up on charges of extravagant or needless prescribing. The cost of the 
medication is then charged to his salary, and he is fined. 

USE OF NEEDED MEDICINES IS PENALIZED 

The report of His Majesty’s Ministry of Health for the year 1928 relates 
as follows: 

“Excessive prescribing is ordering or supplying drugs or appliances in 
such a way as to throw upon the funds available for the provision of 
medical benefit a charge in excess of what is reasonably necessary for the 
adequate treatment of patients. 

“It remains, as it always has been, the business of the doctor, after 
examining the patient, to presciibe or supply whatever drugs, in his pro* 
fessional judgment, are reasonably necessary for adequate treatment. 

“The right to exercise his discretion in this way carries with it the 
duty to justify in the first instance to his professional brethren, the manner 
in which he has exercised it, if on an investigation of the orders of supplies 
given by him and the charges involved, it seems right to the Minister 
that he should be called upon to do so. 

“It is further important to bear in mind, both as evidence of the 
manner in which the Article is administered, and as a testimony to the 
measure of sound discretion generally exercised by doctors in prescribing, 
that the cases in which money has ultimately been withheld from the 
doctors on account of excessive prescribing, of which there were twenty- 
one during 1928-29, are a very small proportion, serious as some of them 
have been, of the number of cases in which prescribing has been reviewed, 
or even of the number of cases of which the Minister has caused an in- 
vestigation, in the sense of the Article, to be made, 

“The regional medical officers paid over twelve hundred visits during 
the year to doctors who had given prescriptions in such numbers or of 
such kinds as to call for explanation, as to 

(1) Whether the doctors prescribing had imposed any cos? on 
the available funds in excess of what was reasonably neces- 
sary, and 

(2) If so, what was the amount? 

“In 18 of the 24 cases in which the Panel Committees’ findings has 
been intimated to the Minister before the end of the 3 r ear, the Panel 
Committees found that an excess cost had been imposed. The amounts of 
excess cost (that is, the excess occasioned by doctors prescribing during 
the single quarterly periods under investigation) found by the Panel 


231 



Committees varied from as little as about two pounds to as much as about 
two hundred and forty-three pounds (the latter in respect of the pre- 
scribing of two partners). 

"Some (Panel Committees) have recommended to the Minister to 
withhold the full amounts of excess cost found by professional bodies 
(Panel Committees or referees) to have been occasioned by the doctors 
prescribing ; others have submitted that only a small part of the amounts 
should be withheld.” 

One can understand that the danger of having the cost of required medi- 
cation deducted from his meagre wage makes the doctor weigh the health and 
life of the patient against his own income and livelihood. This also makes it 
apparent how secondary are health and life to the items of expense, adminis- 
tfon, red tape and politics in State Medicine. 

DOCTORS* EARNINGS MEAGRE 
The average earnings of a doctor under the panel system in England is 
about eighteen hundred dollars a year; and in Wales about nine hundred 
dollars. On such earnings a doctor can scarcely exist. And it is certainly 
impossible for him, because of limitations of income, to maintain his com- 
petence as a physician by keeping abreast of medical advance. This involves 
the purchase of expensive medical books and journals, and visits to centers of 
medical learning to become acquainted with innovations. The peace of mind, 
the time and the leisure, as well as the means required for this purpose are 
out of question for the panel doctor. One can realize that only doctors that 
are driven by urgent necessity, or those of a low ethical and mental calibre 
would consent to practice medicine under these circumstances. The situation 
is well portrayed in Cronin’s "Citadel ” 

"IDEALS" OF PANEL PRACTICE 
A clearer picture of the physician who practices under Compulsory Health 
Insurance, and the type of medical care which he gives his clientele under the 
English system is drawn by Francis Brett Young in "The Young Physician"*: 

, . . Edwin, quickly recovering his sense of humour, pulled out Edmond- 
son’s letter and handed it to the doctor. 

"Well, now, why didn’t you say so at first," said Dr. Harris, scratch- 
ing a bristly grey chin. "Yes ... I did mention to their manager that I 
was in want of some one to do a bit of rough dispensing and keep this 
place tidy. You see I don’t live here. It’s what we call a lock-up, and the 
work’s so pressing that I’ve really no time to do my own dispensing. 

“You look very young. Final year . . Then his ejes brightened. 
"Have you done your midwifery yet?" 

"No, I shall do that later in the year." 

"That's a pity ... a pity. You could have been very useful to me in 
that way, keeping cases going, you know, so that I could be in at the 
finish. I could do twice the amount of midwifery that I do now if I had 
♦ THE YOUNG PHYSICIAN, by Francis Brett Young, E, P. Dutton & Co., 
New York City, 1920. 


23 2 



some one to keep an eye on them. Before the General Medical Council 
did away with unqualified assistants, I used to keep three of them ; paid 
me well, too. Now I’ve got to do everything myself. It’s a dog’s life, but 
there’s money in it, I don’t mind telling you. 

<r You can learn a lot of useful things about general practice here/’ said 
Dr. Harris. “It should be extremely useful to you; you sec, I’ve been at 
this game for thirty years. It’s a great chance for you.” He took up a 
handful of silver from the open drawer and started to jingle it. “Look 
here, you’re wasting time.” 

He led Edwin behind the green baize curtain at the back of his desk, 
disclosing a set of shelves and a counter stained with the rings of bottles 
and measuring glasses. At the end of the counter was a sink into which a 
tap with a tapered nozzle dripped dismally. One drawer held labels, 
another corks, a third a selection of eight-ounce, four-ounce, and two-ounce 
bottles. At the back of the counter stood a row of Winchester Quarts, of 
indefinite contents, labelled with the Roman numerals from one to nine. 
Dr. Harris swabbed the swimming counter with a rag that was already 
saturated with medicine. 

“You can learn all you want in five minutes,” he said, “There’s no 
time for refinements in this sort of practice. These big bottles are all stock 
mixtures, and whatever they teach you in your universities, I can tell you 
that these nine mixtures will carry you through life. There you are . . . 
Number One: White Mixture. Number Two: Soda and Rhubarb. Num- 
ber Three: Bismuth’s expensive. Number Four: Febrifuge . , . Liquor 
Ammon, Acet. and that. Number Five: Iron and Mag. Sulph. And so 
on. . * . Number Nine: Mercury and Pot. Iod . . . you know what that’s 
for,” with a laugh, “We use a lot of that here. Now you’ve one ounce of 
each stock mixture to an eight-ounce bottle, and a two-tablespoonful dose. 
I used to put them up in six-ounce bottles; but if you give them eight 
ounces they think they’re getting more for the money: they don’t realize 
they’re getting eight doses instead of twelve, and that’s their lookout. 
Isn’t it? Same proportions for children and infants, only you use the 
tour and two-ounce bottles instead, with dessert-spoon and teaspoonful 
doses. Simple, isn’t it? But you want to simplify if youTe going to 
make money in these days. Now, is that quite clear ?” 

“Quite clear " 

“Well, then, when a patient comes in I have a look at him — with my 
experience you can tell in a moment— and I give you a slip of paper be- 
hind the curtain. Like this. 'Mrs. Jones. No. 5. T.D. SJ Mrs. means 
an eight-ounco bottle. One ounce of Number Five stock mixture. One 
tablespoonful three times a day. Then, if I put ‘4trs honV instead of 
‘T. D. S./ it means a tablespoonful every four hours; but I only do that 
when I see they can afford to get through the bottle more quickly. You’ll 
find powders in that drawer. Antifebnn — it’s cheaper than phenacetin 
and caffein. And calomel for children. Then, as I was saying, while I 
have a look at the patient and ask him one or two questions >011 make up 
the medicine,” 


233 



“Suppose, when you’ve had a talk to him, you change your mind about 
the treatment,” 

“I never change my mind. There’s no time for that,” said Dr. Harris. 
“And if I did we could change the medicine next time. But you needn’t 
worry about the treatment ; that’s part of the business. Why” — and the 
little man expanded — “I shouldn’t wonder if we got through as many 
as a hundred patients in a couple of hours, the two of us together. Now, 
are you ready?” 

He left Edwin behind the curtain and rang his bell. A patient 
entered, and as soon as the doctor had said good-evening to her the pre- 
scription was passed behind the curtain and Edwin proceeded to fill a 
bottle from one of the Winchester Quarts. This business vvent on mono- 
tonously for another hour. Edwin dispensed mechanically in a kind of 
dream. He never saw a single patient; but little scraps of conversation 
showed him that most of them were suffering from the evils of poor 
housing and a sedentary life. It consoled him to think that most of the 
mixtures that he dispensed were relatively harmless. Sometimes, by an 
access of solicitude and deference in the doctor’s voice, he could gather 
that the patient was of a higher social degree, and he smiled to find, in 
these cases, that the mixture was invariably prescribed in four-hourly doses. 

All the men, it appeared, were judged to be in need of White Mixture 
or Rhubarb; all the women demanded Iron and Mag. Sulph; all the 
children were treated with a treacly cough mixture or calomel powders. 
In the space of an hour he must have dispensed at least forty bottles of 
medicine, and towards the end of the evening he noticed that Dr. Harris 
became even more perfunctory in his examinations — If such a word were 
ever justified—and that signs of irritation began to show themselves in 
his voice. At last the waiting-room bell rang twice, and no patient 
appeared. 

“A good average day,” he said. “Three pounds ten.” He shovelled 
the silver from the drawer into a leather bag that weighted down his 
coat pocket. “That takes a lot of making at a shilling a time. Well how 
do you like it?” 

ENGLISH PUBLIC’S VERDICT ON PANEL SYSTEM 
At the annual meeting of the National Federation of Employees’ Approved 
Societies, held in London on March 5, 1929, the following picture was drawn 
of State Medicine in England.* 

“Since the second valuation (1922-23) sickness experience has been 
steadily increasing. . . . State Insurance is now essentially a part of our 
industrial system, but as long as the whole burden of responsibility for the 
prevention and cure of industrial sickness is left to insurance practitioners 
under conditions existing today, it is not likely that much progress would 
be made towards removing the serious menace to industrial efficiency. 

“A good deal was heard at the conference in criticism of insurance 

(* Reported in the Supplement to the British Medical Journal, March 23, 1929, 
page 70), 


234 



service, one speaker declaring that after sixteen years of tub 

PANEL THERE WAS TODAY MORE SICKNESS THAN BEFORE/ 1 

England has good reasons to be dissatisfied with its Compulsory Health 
Insurance program. Social service cliques had promised that it would result 
in an improvement in national health, exactly as they are promising it to us. 
The falseness of their promises might have been sensed a priori. But even this 
scarcely would have anticipated the extent of the failure of State Medicine 
in England. Its effects are manifest in current history. 

The best commentary on State Medicine in England is the fact that some 
of the keenest minds in the British medical profession — Brett Young, Somerset 
Maughan and Cronin, for instance— have deserted medicine for literature, 

DIALECTICS OF THE PROPAGANDISTS 

Some of our propagandists of Compulsory Health Insurance insist that any 
damaging picture of the English panel system is “false and reprehensible pro- 
paganda/’ They apply these terms to all facts with which they disagree or 
which do not serve their purposes. But the extent of their own bias and falsi- 
fication is revealed by the facts. The mortality rate in England in 1938 was 
one of the highest in the civilized world. At the same time the state of health 
of the citizenry, especially the youth, was so alarming that a health campaign 
was instituted to remedy the situation. In February 1940, the Burden Men- 
tal Research Trust, of Bristol, reported that the level of intelligence of 
Britain is now declining more rapidly than ever before. This has occurred 
despite, or more correctly because of, the “welfare” and “socialized” medicine 
program. Compulsory Health Insurance has failed as completely in England 
as it has in Germany and in every other country where it has been tried. 

Other propagandists, who better realize the futility of tampering with the 
truth, acknowledge the failure of the British system but assert that it is due to 
a defect in the particular plan adopted. This is completely refuted by similar 
failure of different plans adopted in other lands. Twenty or more diverse 
plans of Compulsory Health Insurance with all conceivable varieties of varia- 
tions have been adopted in as many lands and they have all failed equally 
ignominiously. These failures the agitators brush aside with the same apol- 
ogies. But they can point to no country where the program has succeeded. 

MENACES OF COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE 

It requires little intelligence or thought to realize that the basic ideas that 
underlie Compulsory Health Insurance are vicious and false. Any plans or 
organizations based on those ideas are equally vicious, are certain to injure the 
interests of the public and are doomed to failure. 

More significant than the failure of the plan itself is its implied violation 
of the basic principles of our government. It implies extreme regimentation of 
the populace, with the government in the role of paternalist autocrat. Human 
beings would become mere registration numbers from the viewpoint of the 
government. The mislaying, mixup or loss of office records would mean tem- 
porary or permanent “liquidation” of the individual involved and confiscation 

235 



of his contributions. This could be fashioned into an excellent political weapon 
for forcing party regularity. 

That this is not a theoretic consideration is made obvious by the millions 
of records now lost in or from the files of the U. S. Security regime. The 
Administration has announced that as a result of the loss of these records 
many of the persons involved will lose permanently all their rights under the 
law. This is an invariable consequence of regimentation, centralization and 
bureaucratization of a large and populous land. 

There are also phases of Compulsory Health Insurance that violate privacy 
and sense of decency. Under the system one's ailments and the most intimate 
phases of one's life arc made matters of public record which any one who 
cares to make the special effort might inspect. In this manner one's innermost 
weaknesses would be betrayed to fiance, to prospective employer or to danger- 
ous enemies. 

The effect of the Workmen's Compensation Act in excluding from employ- 
ment workers over the age of forty indicates what such a system might mean 
to employability. The utterly unwarranted suicides which have been caused 
by the mixups under the premarital blood test and venereal certificate laws, one 
of which has recently drawn the comment of Walter Winchell, give some in- 
sight into the tragedies which inevitably result from such devices. 

In connection with the same campaign, the director of the Bureau of Social 
Hygiene of the New York City Health Department announced before the 
greater New York Safety Council on April 18, 1940, that many employers 
dismiss or refuse employment to persons who have had syphilis or who are 
merely suspected of it because they have positive Wassermann reactions. The 
public clinics for the treatment make public records of the private affairs 
and ailments of their patients that influential employers can gain access to. 
It is a natural consequence of any State Medical system that will inevitably 
bar many workers from employment. 

The power of life and death which Compulsory Health Insurance laws 
place in bureaucracy must not be forgotten. The death of Maxim Gorki at 
the hands of the servants of Russia's “Socialized Medicine/ 1 which has been 
mentioned, is one of many instances. In the earlier years of the Nazi regime, 
the sterilization laws originally passed to prevent the breeding of hereditary 
defects were used against the enemies and victims of the government. It is not 
difficult to realize how Compulsory Health Insurance and universal State 
Medicine could be used by governments, in the heat of partisanship, to destroy 
their opponents. One can readily conceive that the intensity of animosity 
which the “New Deal” displays toward its opponents might take the expres- 
sion, under such laws, of sterilization of their opponents or of euthanasia, their 
destruction by medical devices “in the interest of public weal.” A change of 
government might result in the sterilizers being sterilized, and in the complete 
undoing of the nation. 

A situation of this character was reported from wartime Poland. The 
Germans resorted to sterilizing Polish boys by x-ray. It remains to be seen 
what the Polish will do with the Germans. This mode of warfare may be a 
real solution of the European problem. 

236 



The medical situation in this country is bad enough as it stands, without 
further aggravation. The country would do well to heed the warning offered 
by the miscarriage of Compulsory Health Insurance and State Medical plans, 
and to destroy Social Service Rackets and their schemes. 

the new deal and socialized medicine 

President F, D. Roosevelt hedged on the subject of Socialized Medicine, 
which has been one of the avowed objectives of the New Deal, in a speech 
at Bcthseda, Maryland, in the course of his 1940 campaign, saying: 

"Neither the American people nor their government intend to 
socialize medical practise, any more than they plan to socialize industry. “ 

By some optimistic folks this statement was regarded as a realistic 
attitude that disposes of Socialized Medicine as a New Deal issue* They 
overlook the ambiguity of the last clause; for socialization of industry was 
one of the express objectives of the New Deal. This campaign promise was 
more cleverly worded than most 

MEDICAL REORGANIZATION IS NECESSARY 
The interests of both the public and of the rank and file of the medical pro- 
fession require a reorganization of medicine for the provision of superior medi- 
cal care at a minimal cost compatible with quality. The majority of the 
medical profession clamor for such a plan. 

Properly reorganized medicine would give the public medical service 
superior to the best available today, higher in calibre and involving a real in- 
terest of the physician in the well-being of his patient. All this should be made 
available to the public at a cost that is minimal while insuring maximal earn- 
ings to the physicians. This can only be attained by eliminating all middle- 
men, such as politicians and social workers, and by reducing costs of adminis- 
tration to an absolute minimum. All forms of Compulsory Health Insurance 
that ever have been adopted or proposed do exactly the reverse* 


237 



CHAPTER XVIII. 


THE SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM OF 
MEDICAL CARE 

JJefoke embarking on a discussion of medical care it should be reiterated 
that good health docs not depend primarily on medical care. Proper food, 
clothing and shelter arc more fundamental requisites for good health than the 
best medicines. Conversely, thanks to the power of self-repair with which 
Nature has endowed Man, he often survives the vilest abuse and the most 
incompetent medical treatment. The history of medicine attests that it is for- 
tunate for human survival that “a good man is hard to kill.” 

It is a foregone conclusion that a solution of the question of medical care 
will not be found in the proposals of either the Medical or Social Service 
Rackets. Both merely seek their own advantage and profit and are Largely 
responsible for aggravating the situation. In fact, without their elimination no 
solution is possible; for their use as political devices has not only impaired the 
calibre of medical services but has also dangerously cheapened human life. 
Any solution must correct these evils. 

ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF SOLUTION 
The public certainly should not entrust the solution to the politician. It 
should effect an arrangement directly with the medical profession that would 
eliminate all middlemen or political bosses. Any adopted plan must have 
certain essential features, among which are the following: 

The atmosphere of cut-throat rivalry and commercialism which has always 
characterized medical care must be supplanted by a spirit of humane collabora- 
tion of all groups involved. 

The highest quality of medical care will be insured only when the advan- 
tages of both the patient and the doctor coincide. The plan must make it 
profitable for the doctor to keep his patients well. 

The cost to the public must be as low as is compatible with the highest 
grade of medical care. The entire cost should be brought within the means 
of the average man by distribution of risks and should be payable in fixed 
annual sums that can be budgeted. 

Th$ medical care must be rendered by groups of doctors who pool their 
special abilities and activities for the benefit of themselves and their patients. 
This implies an elimination of rivalry for fees. All physicians in the group 
should work and earn equally. A basic drawing account should be supple- 
mented by bonsuses the size of which would depend upon the good health of 
their patients and the consequent accrued surplus. It is a curious fact that it 
is the medical merchants who most loudly mouth the priestly character of the 
medical profession who are most insistent upon the right to fleece their patient- 
public, and who most strenuously object to a reorganization of medicine that 
will provide merely a good income for the physician. 

Medical education must be made freely available at little or no direct cost, 
and the capabilities of each physician should be developed to the utmost for 


238 



the advantage of the community. This implies the elimination of the medical 
education and specialty rackets. 

Hospital monopolies must be ended and their facilities should revert to 
public use and be available to all physicians. They also should be honestly 
and competently managed. 

Medical literature should be made freely available to the members of the 
profession at a reasonable cost. 

Drug monopolies and rackets, including the “acceptance” racket and price - 
fixing, and the extortionate prices for essential drugs should be eliminated. 
The best solution of this problem would be the reversion of patents on medical 
items that are essential for the health and life of the public to the State; and 
pensioning of the inventor or discoverer by the State. 

Medical research and discovery should be stimulated by an adequate system 
of rewards; and their prompt publication and broadcasting should be fostered. 

NEW YORK MEDICAL GUILD PLAN 

An ideal plan that is entirely feasible and combines every feature that is 
desirable to all parties involved is one that I drew up and was offered to the 
public in 1930 by the New York Medical Guild. 

For the medical profession the plan provides group medical practice; a 
minimal income of eight to ten thousand a year net; an eight hour day; vaca- 
tions with pay; compulsory study for keeping abreast of medical advance; a 
pension and retirement plan; reward and bonus for preventive medicine based 
on continued good health of the clientele which serve to shift the profit 
motive to coincide with the interests of the public; and finally a uniform 
income for all professional members to eliminate commercial rivalry. 

For the public the plan provides a higher grade of medical care than is 
available today at any price, at a cost that corresponds with the charges of the 
average clinic. For about eight cents a day, the public would receive all types 
of medical, preventive, surgical and specialty care, with periodic health examin- 
inations at the hands of cooperating groups of physicians. For an additional 
sum of less than seven cents a day hospital and nursing care would be provided. 

The poor would join in the plan at the expense of the community. The 
millions of dollars which Organized Social Service now converts to its own 
uses would help defray the cost. The cost of the plan to the public could be fur- 
ther materially reduced if municipal hospitals were made available to the mem- 
bers of the Guild for the care of their patients. In any event the plan would 
represent a saving to the municipality and a material improvement in the medi- 
cal care of the poor. 

DOCTORS’ BONUS FOR HEALTHY CLIENTELE 

Under this plan a member would be the patient of a physician of his own 
choice working in cooperation with a group of associate physicians. The in- 

Instead of giving rise to hurried, careless slovenly "mass production” 
methods which inevitably result from State Medicine and Compulsory Health 
cotne of the physicians of the group would be supplemented by bonuses, the 
size of which would depend upon the good health and freedom from illness 
of their group of patients. Consequently, each and every member of the 



group would have a real, sincere, and vital interest in the good health of 
clientele rather than in the number of operations and treatments that might 
befall or be inflicted upon them. 

It can be expected that when the income of the doctors of the group 
dqends upon piottcting the health and life of their clientele they will very 
critically observe and control the work of their colleagues. They will demand 
of their colleagues the highest obtainable competence and the maximal develop- 
ment of ability. The highly critical check on the work of each member of 
the group by his colleagues prompted by the desire to increase their incomes 
by good work, would be certain to have a salutory effect on the quality of 
the services rendered the public. 

SUPERIOR PHYSICIANS AND SERVICES INSURED 

The plan provides an adequate income for the physicians coupled with 
leisure and an insistence on compulsory study to keep abreast of medical 
advances. This would be certain to improve the calibre of medical care and 
to stimulate medical research and discovery in the direction of protecting 
health and life. 

Instead of giving rise to hurried, careless, slovenly ‘‘mass production” 
methods which inevitably result from State Medicine and Compulsory Health 
Insurance, the Guild plan of group medicine would effect highly individual- 
ized and careful medical care by groups of physicians keenly interested in the 
patient’s well being. 

The plan also provides for a progressive reduction of the cost to the public 
when its reserves and surpluses had been built up. It also makes provision for 
“carrying” patients who were temporarily unable to pay due to unemployment 
or other causes. If the plan were launched with adequate financing or endow- 
ment, the cost could be set at a lower level from the start. Present price 
levels also permit a reduction in the rate, 

DOCTORS’ INTEREST RELIES PROPAGANDA OF ORGANIZED 

SOCIAL SERVICE 

The interest of the rank and file of the medical profession in the pro- 
vision of adequate medical care of the average man is borne out by the fact 
that in a short period of time the New York Medical Guild built up a mem- 
bership of several hundred physicians intent upon joining the plan. 

The Guild came into being at the time that the social-service-dominated, 
and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Milbank Fund subsidized, 
Committee for the Study of the Cost of Medical Care was indulging in pro- 
paganda designed to lead the public to believe that the medical profession was 
not interested in the provision of adequate medical care for the average man 
at a fee that he could afford. The willingness of the medical profession of 
New York City to join such a plan forced the Committee to reconsider and 
retract its false propaganda; and forced it to accept in principle the idea, of 
group medical services at fixed annual fees advocated by the Guild. For 
although similar plans had been adopted in various sections of the country, 
the Guild plan was the most acceptable to the rank and file of the profession. 

ORGANIZED MEDICINE OPPOSES PLAN 

The medical merchants of the New York County Medical Society and 


240 



the New York Academy of Medicine feared that their incomes would be 
reduced by such a plan, and on resounding “ethical" grounds they rejected it 
and brought the pressure of their power to bear against it. Dr, Bernard 
Sachs alone among the officers of the New York Academy of Medicine 
showed sincere and honest interest in the problem; he openly advocated and 
endorsed the provision of medical care for fixed annual fees by medical groups 
— the fundamental principles of the Guild plan. 

Curiously enough, however, the Economic Committee of the New York 
County Medical Society approved of the Guild plan for adoption by the 
hospitals. The implications of their report were that the society desired to 
protect the incomes of the hospitals in preference to protecting the interests 
of the medical profession and its' membership. The adoption of the Associated 
Hospital Service of New York plan for provision of incomes for the hospitals 
and of hospitalization of the public for limited periods of time at a fixed 
annual fee of ten dollars per year was a direct outgrowth of the Guild Plan. 

ORGANIZED SOCIAL SERVICE OPPOSED PLAN 
Most interesting and illuminating was the attitude of Organized Social 
Service toward the Guild's plan of provision of medical care for the public 
at fixed annual fees. Though the Guild approached the various social service 
organizations and philanthropies that pretended to be interested in such plans 
the responses varied from flat rejections of the invitation to cooperate, and 
antagonism, as in the case of E. A. Filene, Evans Clark, and the Twentieth 
Century Fund; to utter apathy on the part of Mr. Michael M. Davis, 
Director for Medical Services of the Julius Rosenwald Fund. They made 
it clear that they were not interested in any plan which did not give the 
social workers complete control and provide for them munificient salaries. 
The same groups have been actively pushing Wagner's Socialized Medicine 
Bill which provides munificently for social workers. 

Many similar plans have been publicized and launched. None of them, 
however, permits of the possibility of superior medical care because they do 
not provide for an adequate charge or sufficient income for the physicians to 
enable them to develop their capacities. In most of them the physician is 
merely an employee rather than a free agent, and thus the incentive to superior 
services is absent. They also have not a democratic organization within the 
medical group or the bonus and other incentives. 

PUBLIC UNINTERESTED IN MEDICAL COSTS 
Though tremendous volume of publicity was given the Guild plan there 
was little public response. The public apparently was unwilling to pay any- 
thing for medical services so long as they knew it was obtainable free or at 
nominal cost from the clinics of the city. The inference was clearly that the 
public do not desire to pay for something that they can get for nothing; that 
they are not aware of any deficiencies in the quality of medical care which 
they receive; and that they do not recognize the existence of any problem in 
medical care. 

The experience of a group of 5,000 doctors organized in the California 
Physician’s Service in 1939 for voluntary health insurance has been identical. 
They have found that the public is little concerned about the cost of medical 

241 



care and still less interested in health insurance. In four months of intensive 
drive they were able to secure only 3,000 members. 

It is doubtful that years of propaganda by Organized Social Service has 
r atcrally changed the picture; which may explain why it is attempting to 
gain its objectives by making health insurance compulsory. That would 
solve the problem of the social worker, but would merely aggravate those of 
the medical profession and of the public. 

NEW YORK PLAN INSURING MEDICAL COSTS DOOMED TO 

FAILURE 

It is idle to dream that any compulsory plan or bureaucratic system will 
improve medical care. For the life of the patient often depends on such 
intangibles as the physician’s good will and solicitude. These can not be 
commanded or demanded. They can only be elicited by a rational system of 
rewards. It is only through voluntary, collaborative plans that the highest 
grade of medical care can be expected to develop. 

Equally ineffective and doomed to failure in advance, are plans advocated 
by Organized Medicine for insuring medical costs up to a certain amount. 
Laws permitting the issuance of such insurance have been passed in several 
states, including New York. It can be predicted with certainty that the result 
will be padded medical and surgical bills aimed at absorbing the entire sum 
insured ♦ 

The cost of medical care at the hands of medical merchants will be mate- 
rially increased by the plan and additional costs over and above the insured 
limit will be imposed on patients up to the limit of their capacity to pay. It 
will work out in much the same manner as has the amended Workmen’s 
Compensation Bill. The gravest defect of the plan,, however, is that the 
doctor's profit and interest lies in the patient's ill health and in operations and 
treatments; and the patient's purse is as seriously endangered thereby as ever . 
It is no solution of the problem. 

FORMS THAT ATTEMPTED SOLUTION MUST NOT TAKE 

It should be obvious to a tyro that there are some forms that attempts 
at solution of the problem of medical care should not take. Any attempt to 
solve the problem that jeopardizes the livelihood of the public and thereby 
threatens their ability to provide for themselves the necessities of life, is doomed 
to failure. For this reason plans that compel the employer to pay part of 
the costs and penalize him for giving employment are utterly unsound. 

To intelligent persons these plans should appear objectionable for other 
reasons. They are a reversion to medievalism and feudalism, the essence of 
totalitarianism. They constitute in principle a reassertion of the property 
right of the employer in his employee. For only on the ground of self interest 
can the employer be called upon justly to pay any part of the cost of medical 
care of his employees, in any case other than illness or injury arising directly 
out of emplojmient. Such payment implies the surrender of his privacy by 
the worker ; for when the employer pays for the services, he is entitled to know 
its nature and significance. 

Such plans imply the surrender of concepts of independence and freedom. 


242 



That was precisely Bismarck’s objective when he introduced his program. It 
appears inconceivable that a people who have enjoyed the blessings of freedom 
should in this manner consent to being shackled. 

THE ONLY ULTIMATE SOLUTION OF THE COST OF MEDI- 
CAL CARE IS A SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM OF THE ECO- 
NOMIC ORGANIZATION OF SOCIETY. 


APPENDIX 

THE LEMPERT FENESTRATION OPERATION 
FOR DEAFNESS 

MAYHEM AND HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION 

The fenestration (or “window”) operation for the supposed “cure” of 
deafness is a vicious and ruthless fraud deliberately perpetrated by or- 
ganized medicine upon the pathetic victims of deafness. It was promoted as 
a device to bolster the incomes of the boss otologic specialists that had been 
cut severely both by depression and by technological improvements in the 
treatment of chronic mastoid infections with sulfanilamide, penicillin and 
Iodobor (iodine and boric acid) powder. The exploitation of millions of 
deafened persons by this operation offered a surgical income replacing that 
previously derived from the oft useless and injurious radical mastoid opera- 
tions, This fraud was the chief product of the multi-million fund for research 
on otosclerosis raised from the public by the bosses banded together in the 
American Otological Society, 

Seldom in the annals of medicine or quackery has a procedure been ex- 
ploited more skillfully or more ruthlessly than the Lempert Fenestration 
Operation. The most costly press-agentry plus the advertising inherent in 
the support of the American Otological Society and of the American Medi- 
cal Association were used in pushing the operation. At the same time the 
entire force of censorship of those organizations and their publications were 
used to prevent the public, the otologic specialty and the medical profession 
learning the ugly truth about the fenestration operation and the permanent 
injuries and sequellae it inflicts upon its victims, A rigid censorship by or- 
ganized medicine bars the publication even in medical specialty journals of 
the injuries resulting from the operation. 

It was not until the late I930 r s that the American Otological Society 
awoke to the lucrative significance of some of the operative experiments on 
human victims of deafness that had been carried on in Europe, by Dr. Gunnar 
Holmgren in Sweden, and later followed by Dr. Sourdille in France, Hastily, 
Dr, Sourdille was invited to this country to describe his operations on the deaf 
before the New York Academy of Medicine. If the American public could be 
induced to accept this operation for deafness, the pocketbooks of the leaders 
of otology could be bolstered. 


243 



Dr. Julius Lemper t found in these experiments on the deaf a royal road 
to notoriety, a means of rehabilitating his fortune and of ingratiating him- 
self with the specialty bosses. 

Lemper t undertook to modify Sourdille s operation in such manner as to 
make it more palatable to the public. Holmgren and Sourdille in their ex- 
periments had been mindful of the dangers to life, health and hearing involved 
in their experiments. Consequently, they had undertaken to minimize the 
risk involved by doing the operations in several stages. However, there would 
be considerable sales resistance on the part of a deafened but otherwise healthy 
individual to submit himself to repeated series of operations. Lempert 
“improved” the procedure by doing the operation in one stage that required 
hours on the operating table, and by using dental drills and other minor 
operative variations. 

In essence the operation consists in drilling a hole at the base of the skull, 
in the lateral semi-circular canal that is an integral part of the inner ear. 
This hole is made on the questionable theoretic premise that sound enters 
the inner ear by way of an opening known as the oval window; on a clearly 
questionable and often provably false premise that the cause of the impair- 
ment of hearing is blocking of that oval window; and on the assumption 
that drilling a hole in the inner ear will facilitate the entry into it of sound 
waves, even though it is demonstrable that the entire structure of the inner 
car vibrates in resonance to sound. 

Lempert was barred by repute and medical politics from presenting 
his “cunning” invention to the profession. He made a deal with Dr. Samuel J. 
Kopetzky, a ranking officer of the New York State Medical Society and an 
influential politician in the American Otological Society, to present his data 
on his original group of human experiments before the American Otological 
Society meeting at Atlantic City in 1938- As has been related, Dr. Kopetzky, 
who was chairman of the publicity committee of the New York County 
Medical Society and of the New York Academy of Medicine, also was quite 
successful in obtaining censor-free publicity In the lay press, especially the 
New York Times, for his exploitation of the operation. 

According to the story told by Dr. Kopetzky, however, this very publicity 
proved his undoing. The frequent mention of his name in the New York 
Times reports caused the jealousy of his colleague, the charge that he was 
trying to steal credit for the work, and vindictive reprisals. Dr. Lempert re- 
ported to the American Otological Society that the data which he had fur- 
nished Dr, Kopetzky had been falsified and thus forced his resignation from 
the Society. 

Shortly thereafter the selfsame data that Lempert labelled “falsified” 
when presented by Kopetzky, was published in an issue of the A.M.A. publi- 
cation, Archives of Otolaryngology entirely devoted to the subject of the 
Lempert Fenestration Operation by its editor, Dr. Shambaugh. It may be a 
mere matter of coincidence that Dr. Shambaugh’s son was boosted by Lem- 
pert as one of the few otologic surgeons who could be trusted to do the 
Lempert Fenestration Operation, thus insuring young Shambaugh a share 
in the spoils inuring from the publicity. 


244 



Publicity that would do credit to the highest-priced perverters of public 
opinion in the land has been fed to the public in a constant stream to lure the 
deaf to victimization and doom. The pathetically hopeful victims of deafness 
have been fleeced of millions of dollars with the help of articles in Sunday 
newspaper supplements, Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest (which 
presented two articles promoting the operation in one year) , Hygeia and the 
columns of Damon Runyon, Ed Sullivan and Waiter Winchell, among 
numerous others. The editors of these publications refused to publish the 
truth about the operation or the pathetic plaints of its victims. They sub- 
mitted the latter to the censorship of organized medicine, that wished only 
to boost and promote the operation and the fees it implied. 

The Lcmpert Fenestration Operation has been truthfully acknowledged 
to be an experimental procedure fraught with danger for its victims, by Dr. 
Julius Lcmpert himself. He was forced to acknowledge this under oath in 
the course of an examination before trial for malpractice brought by one of 
a series of victims fortunate enough to be able to sue for the total deafness 
and injuries resulting from the operation at Lempert’s hands. They were able 
to bring suit because I dared to testify as expert on their behalf. In the case 
of Charles Tucek vs. Dr. Julius Lempert, which Dr. Lempert paid twelve 
thousand dollars ($ 12,000) to settle rather than go to trial, during the cross- 
examination on January 31, 1944, Lempert was forced to acknowledge that 
in every fenestration operation there is inflicted upon the victim an acute 
labyrinthitis that may destroy hearing permanently; that there is no way of 
determining in advance if the labyrinthitis will or will not destroy hearing. 
His statements read as follows: 

“ . . . all {victims of the fenestration operation) have , following this 
operation,, a certain degree of labyrinthitis. Now, it either subsides or 
it does not . . . If the hearing does not return and gets worse, that is 
evidence that a labyrinthitis ♦ . . has taken the course for the worse 
instead of better ” {page 170) 

“Q. And there was inflammation accompanying — acute inflammation 
accompanying this in the first stages, was there not? A. There is 
always a sterile serious labyrinthitis , an acute inflammation of the 
membranous labyrinth.” 

“Q. And the acute stages disappear, and it becomes chronic, is that 
right? A. The acute stage disappears and either resolves and the 
hearing comes back to the original state, or it does not resolve and 
becomes chronic and the hearing does not come back.” 

“Q. Well is there any scientific bases upon which to prognosticate 
after say, four or five months, that it will subside or that it will not 
subside? A, Nothing else (except to wait and sec).” 

“Q. And you can not tell which will and which won’t ? A. You can 
not tell which will and which won’t, that is right.” (page 171) 

“Q. Well let me put the question to you this way, then : is it not a 
fact that chronic serous labyrinthitis occurring post-operatively 
usually results in a destruction of both the vestibular and cochlear 
function? A. That is correct.” 

245 



“Q. And is it not true that as a result of such a complication the 
improvement in air conduction hearing obtained by fenestration rap- 
idly recedes until the hearing reaches a level much lower than the pre- 
operative level ? A.That is right.” 

U Q. And is it not a fact that in such cases bone conduction completely 
disappears? A. As a rule.” (page 179) 

It is interesting to note that his hearing initially improved to such an 
extent that Tucck encouraged other victims to submit to the operation. But 
two years later he was completely deaf. Though the Tucek case is reported 
in the medical literature as “successfully operated/’ he recovered damages for 
malpractice and total deafening from Lemper t by a settlement out of court 
The settlement was made on the erudition that the matter would be hushed 
and not publicized at the time. 

Thus it is a fact acknowledged even by Lempert that a fenestration opera- 
tion is a reckless gamble with deafness and with a deliberately inflicted 
labyrinthitis that can and very frequently does destroy the very sense of 
hearing that the operation is represented as designed to preserve. The medi- 
cal profession when it represents the fenestration operation, with its gamble 
and its many dangerous and disabling sequcllae, as “accepted practice,” is a 
deliberate accomplice in maiming and disabling the victims of deafness. It is 
in common decency as well as duty bound to honestly inform the public that 
the Lempert Fenestration Operation is an experiment that is dangerously 
destructive to the hearing in a large proportion of the subjects; that the im- 
provement obtained in a fraction of the cases can not be expected as a rule to be 
more than temporary, and following some measure of improvement in these 
cases, the hearing is gradually lost. 

The profession should also inform the public that the consensus among 
the informed members of the profession is that the improvement obtained 
on the operating table, in a moderate per cent of cases, is due to decompres- 
sion of the inner car and reduction of its fluid pressure. This decompression 
of the inner ear and associated improvement in hearing has been obtained by 
spinal tap and introduction of air, as for encephalography. This has been re- 
ported in the literature by me (Science, v8o : 2075 1337), and subsequently 
by Max Meyer (Acta Otolaryngologica, V27 ; 1-15 139; Monatschr. f. 
Ohrenheilkunde, V73 : 140 : Feb. 1939; Annales d’Oto-Laryngologie, 575- 
88a : June 1939; Praktika Oto-Rhino-Laryngologia, v3 : 1-16:40). 

Spinal tap and encephalography is a relatively innocuous procedure and 
can be done usually with no injury, in sharp contrast with the dangers of the 
fenestration operation. Incidentally, the enccphalographic studies of chronic 
progressive deafness cases reveal in a high percentage of cases, evidences of 
brain lesions such as cerebral atrophy with enlargement of the ventricles, 
meningitic adhesions, mcningiornata and others, as the causes of the deafness. 
Wisdom dictates that in a large proportion of cases of progressive deafness 
encephalography should be done for diagnostic purposes before any more 
drastic measures are even considered. This procedure alone suffices in many 
cases to give a startling improvement in hearing. 


246 



As an experimental operation, fenestration naturally involves the risk: of 
suit against the opejator for malpractice, even in those theoretic cases in which 
no damage is done to the victim. But it is not possible to do the operation 
without inflicting injury and damage. To injure a person by an experimental 
procedure aggravates the negligence and malpractice. 

Fortunately for the operators, few of the victims of the Lempert Fenestra* 
lion Operation have been able to obtain the expert medical testimony that is 
required by the court, or competent counsel sufficiently informed about medi- 
cine, to go on trial. The victims of the earlier operations who have been able 
to get the legal and medical aid have brought suit and recovered from ten to 
twenty-five thousand dollars each from the originator of the operation and 
others. 

More recently the surgeons have sought to protect themselves from the 
consequences of the injuries inflicted by their operation by increasing the 
number of victims, through publicity of a favorable variety, to the point where 
the operation can be classed as “practice accepted by the profession,” This 
would be an almost complete defense legally, unless special negligence can 
be proved, no matter what injury is inflicted on the victim of the operation, 
even total deafness and death. 

The more serious consequences and sequellae of the Lempert Fenestration 
Operation, which I will illustrate below by cases operated by Lempert that 
I have had occasion to observe at first hand, and that are corroborated by 
court records and by malpractice verdicts, or by settlement made out of court, 
are the following : 

1. Permanently Impaired Sense of Equilibrium. The victim loses more 

or less permanently his sense of balance and coordination. This injury is the 

invariable consequence of a “successful” operation. It is the natural result 
of injury done to the semi-circular canal by the operation, including the heat 
of the drill and the mechanical trauma, by drilling a hole in the wall of the 

canal, by interference with the flow of lymph and blood, and the other fac- 

tors involved in cutting away a section of the base of the skull, which is done 
in every Lempert Fenestration Operation ; and by depriving the delicate 
vestibular structures of the protection given by an intact middle car and 
ossicular mechanism against mechanical injury from sound vibrations. Theo- 
retically this injury should be remedied when the fenestrum, or hole, cut in 
the canal wall closes, as it usually does. But despite healing of the bony wall, 
the loss of equilibrium generally persists. 

2. Vertigo. The dizziness is intense in every case following the operation 
due to the trauma and irritation and the labyrinthitis that Lempert acknowl- 
edged occurs in every case. Generally the acute vertigo subsides in varying 
measures; but in some cases it persists unabated and permanently, 

3. Progressive Deafening advances steadily despite the operation even in 
the small per cent of cases that show initial improvement. The fenestration 
operation does not affect the underlying cause of progressive deafness or of 
otosclerosis. It merely is pretended that it corrects only one of the many mani- 
festations of otosclerosis, i. e. fixation of the stapes. Fenestration could not 
conceivably, and does not, prevent progressive loss of hearing by otosclerotic 


247 



changes in the round window, by impairment of vascularity of the inner ear, 
by damage to nerves and nerve endings, and others. 

4. Total Permanent Deafness is the eventual result of the operations. It 
ensues immediately after many of them. Fixation of the stapes, which Lem- 
pert Fenestration Operation is designed to correct, seldom if ever causes total 
deafness (in sharp contrast with blocking of the round window which almost 
invariably causes total deafness, and can not possibly be relieved by fenestra- 
tion)* Lempert Fenestration Operation can and does cause permanent total 
deafness in the operated ears. Only bull-headedness, stupidity and utter dis- 
regard of human values of the operation can be regarded as explaining the 
complete deafening of both ears by operating on the second ear after the 
first has been completely deafened by fenestration. But many such cases have 
come to my attention. These cases make it quite clear that the operator who 
performs the Lempert Fenestration Operation deliberately risks destruction 
of the victims hearing while pretending to seek to correct an otosclerotic 
stapes fixation which can not be diagnosed with certainty, clinically. The 
deliberate risk and hazard imposed on the victim by the operator is inex- 
cusably brutal malpractice. 

5. A steadily progressive contraction of the field of vision has been found 
in every case of the Lempert Fenestration Operation that has been observed 
thus far. In many cases of progressive deafness there is to be found some con- 
traction of the field of vision, which should be taken in every case of deafness. 
Determination of the cause of this contraction of the field may lead to the 
diagnosis of the cause of the deafness — especially in those cases involving 
cerebral lesions. What the cause of the progressive contraction of the field 
of vision following the Lempert operation may be, remains to be determined 
and studied. 

6. Roaring tinnitus is caused in many cases by the Lempert Fenestration 
Operation. It is paradoxic and ironic that it frequently persists in so aggra- 
vated a form as to drive the victim frantic even after the hearing has been 
lost completely. 

7. Pain in the jaws when attempt is made to chew solid foods. This pain 
has been noted ns a persistent sign in a majority of the victims observed. 

Other sequellae of the operation that arc less regularly observed, and 
complications, are the following: 

8. Excessive sensitivity to vibrations occur in some victims of the Lem- 
pert Fenestration Operation even after hearing has been severely damaged 
or destroyed. Loud or rumbling sounds nauseate them and cause them to fall 
in the direction of the operated ear. These victims dare not go out on the 
street alone for fear that the tooting of an automobile horn will cause them 
to fait in front of the auto, or that the vibration of an oncoming train will 
cause them to fall before the train. 

9. Facial paralysis occurs as both a sequela and a complication of the 
fenestration operation. Lempert has testified that facial paralysis should not 
occur as a result of his operation and denies its occurrence in any of his cases. 
But the case cited In the court records above quoted, presented a facial paralysis 
as a sequella. I quote from the record, once again (page 168) : 


248 



n Q. Now the only observation that appears on the card is under 
the date of May 24, 1940: ‘Facial paralysis, right,’ 

“A. That is right,” 

10. Agonizing headaches from which no relief can be obtained, 

11. Subdural abscess is denied by Lempert as a possible complication of 

the operation. But one of his victims, H — L n, received from Lem- 

pert last year a settlement of eleven thousand dollars out of court in a mal- 
practice suit arising out of deafening and epilepsy caused by a fenestration 
operation at his hands. The subdural abscess was complicated by 

12. Epilepsy that occurred as a sequela of the operation. 

13. Sleeplessness is not an infrequent sequela. 

14. Rapid fatigue of the eyes has been noted in a number of cases. These 
cases prefer to keep their eyes shut, especially after exertion. Light and 
bright colors may nauseate them. Impairment of ocular muscle balance with 
attacks of diplopia occur in most cases. 

The medicolegal consequences of the Lempert fenestration operation are 
best illustrated by case histories. The following three have been selected be- 
cause they were performed by Lempert himself, and can therefore not be 
explained away as consequences of the operator’s ignorance of the authentic 
technique: 

Case No. 1. Mrs, Racie B. Sherry, Age 48. CC. Total deafness following 
fenestration operations by Dr. Julius Lempert. 

PH, Ear infections in childhood. Chorea at nine years. Aggravation of 
hearing impairment at onset of menses that subsequently improved with res- 
toration of fair hearing that remained stable. Tonsillectomy and adenectomy, 
1907. Acute exacerbation of right ear infection October io, 1939, onset with 
pain and sero sanguineous or sanguino purulent discharge from the ear coming 
on during the night, complicated by nausea, vomiting, rigidity of the neck 
and extreme vertigo. Was hospitalized for five days and confined to bed for 
ten days longer. Ear drained profusely untit February, 1940, when the car 
cleared up and some hearing was restored. Edge water Hospital diagnosis— 
labyrinthitis complicating chronic otitis media. X-ray diagnosis by Dr. Zeit- 
lin then revealed “sclerotic right mastoid with no development of squamous 
cells 4 . . , indicating old chronic pathology dating back to infancy.” Hearing 
was impaired but was adequate enough in left ear to permit her to hear loud 
conversation, radio, telephone, music and the theatre. In an April 1940 issue 
of Time patient she read about the marvels of the Lempert Fenestration 
Operation in improving the hearing of the deafened. A letter to Dr. Lem- 
pert brought a reply referring her to Dr. Pcrelman, an agent of his. Dr. 
Perelman examined her and told her (the conversations here reported arc 
abstracted from the court records of the case) ; 

“Your right ear or any running ear is out of Lempert ’s line. But your 
left ear is perfect/’ and made an appointment for her with Lempert on April 

19, 1940. 

‘Til make your left ear 100 per cent/’ Lempert told Mrs. Sherry at the 
consultation. “You will hear without a hearing aid .... The fee will be 
$1000.00.” After bargaining, he settled for a fee of $75000 plus the charges 

249 



of his hospital, the York Hospital, and argued: “You uevei cuu tell what 
will happen to your left ear.’* This was a clinching argument for Mrs. Sherry 
who depended on the hearing in her left car for the conduct of her business. 

On May 25 , 1940, Mrs. Sherry came to New York to be admitted to the 
York Hospital for an operation on her left ear. 

“Have you got my money?” was the first question asked her by Dr. Lem- 
pert. When she offered a payment of $500.00, she was told, “I said $750.00.” 
But when Mrs. Sherry threatened to return to Chicago, Lempert agreed to 
let her pay the balance later. 

On the following Friday, Mrs. Sherry was prepared for an operation 
on her right ear instead of the left. She protested that it was the wrong ear, 
but was carried off to the operating room. Later that day she awoke in great 
pain, intense nausea and vertigo, and found that her right ear had been 
operated upon despite Lem pert's repeated assurance that nothing could be 
done for that ear because of the earlier infection and he had no authorization 
for the operation. For two weeks she suffered agony in the hospital. During the 
first ten days her face was paralyzed and her right lip drawn back, After dis- 
charge from the hospital, she submitted to numerous painful treatments con- 
sisting of brutal cutting, pulling and probing in the painful wound for six 
more weeks. At the end of two months of torture — what hearing she had had 
in her right ear was completely destroyed. 

When the patient and her husband protested against the erroneous and 
needless opration on an infected ear, Lempert attempted to shift the respon- 
sibility to them by alleging that they had not given a history of an infection 
in the right ear to the interne. When it was pointed out to him that he had 
taken X-rays of the ears and mastoids, had examined them, and that he 
should have known first hand that there was an infection present, he merely 
offered to operate on the left ear without any charge. This incident is an 
eloquent commentary on the reliability of the doctor’s records and reports. 

During the time that Mrs, Sherry was receiving post-operative care, 
Lempert urged her persistently to have her left car operated. In payment 
he asked no fee and assured her she would have normal hearing if she per- 
mitted him to operate again. July 25, 1940, she returned to the York Hospi- 
tal to have her left ear operated upon. The $250.00 balance of the first opera- 
tive fee was demanded of her, plus hospital expenses. When she refused to 
pay and left to return to Chicago, she found a note in her box at the hotel 
offering to waive the fee. 

Following the second operation she was even worse off than after the 
first. She had intense pains in her head, arms and shoulders, had terrific head 
noises and was dizzy and vomited continuously. Immediately after the opera- 
tion she discovered that she had completely lost her hearing in both ears as 
a result of the operations. The after treatments were as brutal as after the 
first operation. 

Dr. Lempert represented that after due time there would be recovery of 
hearing. After seven weeks of after-treatment, Mrs Sherry returned to Chi- 
cago. In the coriespondence that followed Dr. Lempert was evasive. After 
the lapse of several months, Mrs. Sherry gave up all hope of recovering nor- 


260 



mal hearing. But she pleaded with Dr. Lempert to give her relief from the 
horrible consequences of the operation. She was so completely deaf that even 
a fraction of her defective hearing would be a Godsend. Her sense of balance 
was so badly impaired that not infrequently she fell on the street and had to 
be helped by passers-by or the police officers, who sometimes suspected her of 
being drunk. And when she stood on the curb and an approaching car tooted 
its horn, she pitched forward in front of the auto and narrowly escaped death 
For the same reason she could not travel in the subway. Roaring noises, blasts 
and sirens filled her ear continually despite deafness. 

In September 1941, Dr. Lempert prevailed upon Mrs. Sherry to submit 
to a “revision” of the operation, by a “new technique and improvement” 
which lie had “invented,” on the left ear which he assured her would give her 
the relief she sought. But following the “revision,” Mrs. Sherry was worse 
off than ever. She consulted Dr. Perelman and other physicians, who advised 
her that relief could be had from the head noises only by operating and 
destroying the auditory nerve. Several months later Mrs. Sherry took the 
matter up with Dr. Lempert, who advised for relief the destruction of the 
inner car instead of destroying the auditory nerve, because it would equally 
effectively destroy all possibility of hearing. 

When Mrs. Sherry railed at Dr. Lempert, he tried to play on her emo- 
tions by asking sympathy for the death of his son. Mrs. Sherry replied, “I am 
more to be pitied than he. I must live so.” 

Mrs. Sherry sued Dr. Lempert for recovery of damages for the mal- 
practice he had perpetrated. On January 25, 1944, after a dramatic trial dur- 
ing which Dr. Lempert undertook to spellbind the jury with the same spiel 
as he used on his professional colleagues, the jury awarded Mrs. Sherry and 
her husband $24,000, which was promptly paid by Dr. Lempert and his 
insurance company. 

So influential were Dr. Lempert’s public relations advisers that news of 
this dramatic case was suppressed in most of the newspapers and publications 
in the country. And even the report that was published in the February 7, 
1944, issue of Newsweek, they were able to have written in such way as to 
praise Dr. Lempert to the skies as a public benefactor who had been abused 
and imposed upon. 

Case No. 2. Charles Tucek, male. Age 58. CC* Severe deafness in both 
cars that precludes gainful employment as a consequence of a fenestration 
operation by Dr. Julius Lempert. 

FH. Negative. 

RH. Had suffered from a slowly ptogressive deafness for a period of 
twenty years. Prior to time of operation his hearing in the right ear was fair 
and permitted continuing in gainful employment as a railroad man, especially 
with the use of a hearing aid. Heard well over the telephone. 

As a consequence of glowing publicity of the Lempert Fenestration Opera- 
tion in Time magazine, and of assurances that he would improve his hearing, 
patient submitted to a fenestration operation. His right car, on which he de- 
pended for hearing, was operated by Dr. Julius Lempert on April 2, 194 °> 
at his York Hospital. During his post- operative stay in the hospital he noted 


251 



that his hearing had been severely impaired though he could still hear loud 
noises. On the sixteenth day after the operation, two days after he had been 
discharged from tile hospital, the patient became completely deaf in his 
operated right ear. On the following day he was assured by the operator that 
this was “nothing to worry about,” and repeatedly was assured during the 
following year and a half that he would recover his hearing. 

On October 22, 1941, patient submitted to another operation on his right 
ear at the hands of Dr. Julius Lempert, a so-called revision. Though his 
hearing was unimproved after the operation and his right ear was completely 
deaf, he commuted to New York for treatment to “restore hearing” until 
more than two years after his initial operation. In the meantime he lost all 
useful hearing in both ears and could not continue in his vocation and was 
compelled to resort to lip-reading. 

In addition to loss of hearing, he has frequent attacks of vertigo, often 
can not walk straight but staggers as if drunk, has suffered impairment of 
coordination, loses his balance on change of posture as when arising from a 
chair or turning around, and falls over unless he is supported. Fears going 
out in the street alone. 

Examination revealed a chronic inflammation with massive crust forma- 
tion at the site of the operation. The fistula test was positive and elicited 
nystagmoid movements of the eyes. Past-pointed widely. Field of vision was 
sharply contracted. HEARING COMPLETELY LOST IN RIGHT 
EAR; LEFT EAR SHOWED RESIDUAL HEARING RANGING 
FROM 80 TO 110 DECIBELS BELOW NORMAL. 

Following extensive examinations of the defendant physician before trial, 
he settled the malpractice case brought for injury to hearing and loss of equi- 
librium for twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) with the proviso that no 
publicity should be given the case at the time of settlement. 

Case No, 3. H. L, . Male. Age 34. CC. Total deafness in left ear 

following the fenestration operation by Dr. Julius Lempert for the relief of 
progressive deafness, complicated by epileptiform convulsions, impaired co- 
ordination and equilibrium, double vision and other disabilities 

FH. Father slightly deaf for ten years before death. Uncle on father’s 
side deaf. Two sisters deaf. No members of the family hear perfectly. 

PH. Chickenpox at eight years. Measles at ten years. Frequent colds. 
Hearing impaired since age of fifteen years. Repeated fractures: 1. Right 
thigh, caused by being knocked off wagon by a box which struck and injured 
his head at nine years. 1. Fracture of left maxillary process in the course of 
a boxing match at twenty-three years. Submucous resection, 1928. Tonsil- 
lectomy, 1930, Attacks of deafness in 1925 and 1927, which cleared up spon- 
taneously. Deafness recurred and became progressive in the early thirties but 
up to the time of his operation he was able to engage in his occupation with 
comfort, with the aid of a Sonotone bone -conductor hearing aid. 

In July 1940, as a result of the reported success in restoration of hearing 
of Case No. i, Charles A. Tucek, who is the brother of a fellow-worker, this 
patient was admitted to the York Hospital for a Lempert Fenestration Opera- 
tion for the restoration of hearing. He was about to marry, but decided in- 


252 



stead to spend the money, several thousand dollars, to improve his hearing. 
At the time of his admission to the hospital he was suffering from an acute 
abscess of three upper teeth on the right side. Due to the illness of his den- 
tist he had not had them pulled out on the day before his admission to the 
hospital. He hoped that the teeth would be taken care of in Dr. Lempcrt’s 
York Hospital before the operation; but both his abscesses and the pain were 
completely disregarded. On the morning following his admission to the hos- 
pital, his right ear was subjected to a fenestration operation. No relief of his 
abscesses and toothache was obtained by him during his stay in the hospital. 
Promptly after his discharge from the hospital, his teeth were extracted by 
his dentist and infected jaw treated. 

For a few days after the operation the patient’s hopeful thinking led him 
to believe that his hearing was improved. But shortly after the operation on 
his right ear, it became completely deaf. The ear discharged profusely. He 
continued under daily treatment for months because he was led to believe 
that his hearing would be restored. 

In March 194 1, he was informed that the hope for restoring his hearing 
rested in an operation of his left ear, to which he submitted because it was 
represented to him that the ear was better suited to an operation, and that 
the operation on the left ear would improve the condition of the right ear and 
relieve the terrible head noises that had been caused by the operation. The 
operation on the left ear caused immediate subtotal and permanent destruc- 
tion of his hearing in the left ear also. 

1* As a consequence of these operations, this patient has completely lost 
his hearing in the right ear and has lost it almost completely in the left Be- 
fore the operation the patient could hear fairly well by cupping his hand to 
his ear, and quite well with a Sonotone hearing aid. After the operation he 
could not use the hearing aid because of the profuse discharge and because 
the pressure of the instrument on the operated ear caused extreme nausea and 
vertigo. 

2. Despite the extreme deafness, the operation caused extreme sensitivity 
to loud noises, which gave rise to nausea, dizziness, lurching and falling — 
most frequently to the left side of the completely deafened ear. Dares not 
go out in street alone or stand at curb for fear that the tooting of an auto- 
mobile horn will cause him to lurch and fall in front of car. Does not dare 
to stand on the subway or train platform because of fear of falling in front 
of oncoming train. 

3. Also, despite deafness, the operation has caused terrific tinnitus — roar- 
ing noises, ringing bells, peanut whistles, twang of a bow, that are constant, 
persistent and so loud as to be frightening. Also the pitch of the loud sounds 
which he hears with his right ear, shift suddenly, distorting the hearing that 
remains in the left ear. 

4. Since the operation on the right ear the patient suffers from constant 
pain over the right mastoid. 

5. Since the operations, patient’s equilibrium and sense of balance has 
been so completely destroyed that walking is an effort that is marked by con- 
stant lurching and falling. He bumps into people when he tries to walk along 

253 



the street. Swallowing and sneezing throw him off balance. Can not walk in 
darkness because of his loss of sense of balance. 

6. Coordination and timing are so severely impaired that he can not play 
ball or engage in any vocational activities involving these functions. 

7* Can no longer drive his car safely because of faulty coordination, im- 
paired sense of balance and sudden lurches which cause him to lose control 
of steering and causes the car to weave from side to side. As a consequence 
he had numerous collisions and has been forced to give up driving. 

8. Loss of field of vision caused by the operation makes it impossible for 
him to see to either side. This caused inability to see cars coming at the side 
and contributed to his inability to drive. 

9. Since the operation, he has suffered from double vision that blurs his 
sight. Eyes fatigue rapidlj' and he is forced to keep them closed after exertion. 

10. Since the operation intense light and bright colors nauseate him, 

11 . Has suffered from constant and terrific headaches, 

12. Has frequent attacks of intense nausea and vomiting* Also has at- 
tacks of vertigo and nausea during the night that are so intense they wake 
him up. 

13. Since the operation has had violent convulsions preceded by an aura 
of loss of balance, that usually comes on during the night and throws him 
out of bed so violently that he has suffered severe injuries repeatedly. 

14. Difficulty in chewing solids and locking of his jaws has been caused 
by the operation. Pain over the mastoids and zygomatic processes is intense 
when chewing. 

15. Insomnia has been constant since the operation. In part it is caused 
by the intense pain in the right ear and mastoid, when he lies on it, and by 
attacks of vertigo and nausea caused by lying on the left ear. 

Physical Examination : 

Right ear. Profuse, fetid, purulent discharge fills ear, flowing from re- 
gion of base of pkull. Extreme tenderness over mastoid and zygomas. Pos- 
terior wall of canal and mastoid region destroyed exposing horizontal semi- 
circular canal and wall of inner ear. Totally deaf . 

Left ear. Posterior external auditory canal wall and mastoid destroyed. 
Cavity covered by crusts and moderate amount of pus. Hearing loss averages 
80 decibels. Intensities of sound above threshold cause nystagmus, vertigo and 
nausea. 

The victim suffered not only from the consequences of the experiments 
performed on his cars, but also from a brain abscess (subdural) caused by 
the operation in the presence of the neglected acute dental infection, which 
should have contraindicated operation. 

Dr. Lempert settled this case for the sum of eleven thousand dollars 
($n,ooo.) with the proviso that it would not be given publicity at the time. 

The steady flow of false and misleading publicity matter on Lempert 
and his fenestration operation that has been pouring into lay channels during 
early 1945, coupled with acquaintance with an extensive series of cases that 
have been hopelessly deafened and maimed for life by him and his operation 
impelled me to act for the protection of the public. 


254 



In particular the stream of articles in the Reader's Digest and in 
the New York Journal American aroused my interest. For 1 knew directly 
from the editorial staff that Reader’s Digest relied upon the advice of Dr. 
lago Galdston of the Medical Information Bureau of the New York Academy 
of Medicine for editorial advice and censorship in medical matters Dr 
Galdston acted also in concert with the Censorship Committee of the New 
York Journal American and no advertising or publicity matter that he did 
not approve was accepted or published by that newspaper and its affiliates. 

Articles by Damon Runyon in the New York Journal American of May 
15 and 16 were so obviously inspired by its subject and so false, that I 
determined to beard the lion in his den and thrash out the issue. The Journal 
American refused any correction of the misleading data that had not been 
requested by the Medical Information Bureau or which Dr. Galdston would 
not approve. I therefore decided that the best way to protect the public 
would be to organize the victims of the fenestration operation who have 
been deafened and maimed for life and let them tell their story and truth- 
fully warn prospective victims of the very real dangers involved. They would 
emphasize dramatically for the victims the danger of completely losing the 
hearing that they hope to improve by the operation. With this obejetive in 
mind I tried to insert advertisements in the New York Times, The World 
Telegram and The Journal American inviting those victims to meet for 
organization. The advertisements were rejected on the basis of Galdston’s 
censorship. 

On May 16 1 called at the office of the Medical Information Bureau at 
the New York Academy of Medicine. I was announced by his receptionist. 
In his office I found Dr. Galdston seated at his desk in the corner of the room, 
sipping coffee. 1 told Galdston I had come to sec him about giving the public 
the truth about the Lempert Fenestration Operation but was being blocked 
by his censorship. I told him that 1 regarded the publicity as false, mis- 
leading and injurious to the public. 

Dr. Galdston signified that he sanctioned and approved of the Lempert 
publicity matter in his official capacity, thus indicating that he virtually was 
acting as publicity agent and making the Academy sponsor the publicity* 
He expressed his annoyance at my disapproval of it in no uncertain terms, 
that reflect no credit on the Academy and contrast sharply with its genteel, 
scientific pose. 

Dr. Gladstones conduct befittea more an irate pugilist than the 
official representative of the Academy. He refused to discuss civilly the 
Lempert publicity. Instead he berated me abusively, loudly accused me of 
exposing him and his activities in this book; said he was going to revenge 
himself for my expose; and ordered me out of his office. As I sat in my seat, 
he arose and struck at me, and threatened to call the police to oust me. When 
I arose to leave, he opened the door and ordered a }'Qung lady in his ante- 
room to call the police to remove me. 

I left and returned the same afternoon with a secretary to witness and 
record further conversations with Galdston — as censor of the Medical In- 
formation Bureau. He categorically refused to see us despite the fact that 


255 



I emphasized in my message given his receptionist that the issue was of 
vital public interest, that I had no desire to see him as an individual, hut 
merely in his quasi-public official capacity as censor for the Academy, 

Thus the most sanctimonious of medical organizations, the New York: 
Academy of Medicine presents the revolting spectacle of fostering and “pro- 
tecting” in true gangster spirit, one of the most vicious of the modern day 
medical rackets that sacrifices human health and life. 


256